On Thursday, June 19th at 5 PM Pacific/ 8 PM Eastern, Dr. David Tom Cooke (Twitter@UCD_ChestHealth) will moderate the #LCSM Tweet Chat. The topic: “What are clinical and functional outcomes after lung cancer surgery that are most important to patients & their families?” 

We will partner with #LCSM (#Lung Cancer Social Media; Twitter@LCSMchat), a TweetChat patient education platform, to engage the lung cancer community.  On Twitter, stakeholders tweet using the hashtag #LCSM to flag microblogging discussions of lung cancer treatment, research, and numerous other lung cancer patient focused issues.  The #LCSM TweetChat is a set time when people interested in lung cancer gather virtually via Twitter, and with guidance from a moderator, chat about specific patient-centered topics in lung cancer.  The bimonthly #LCSM TweetChats are an hour long. Hundreds of #LCSM tweets are sent during the chat. Participants in the TweetChat are international, and include patients, family members, researchers, multidisciplinary medical professionals and advocates.  All tweets that include the #LCSM hashtag during the specified hour are recorded in a TweetChat transcript and made available online.

The June 19th #LCSM Tweet Chat moderated by Dr. Cooke is part of his Patient Centered Outcomes Research Institute funded project entitled “Empowering Patients and Their Families to Improve Outcomes That Are Most Important to Them after Lung Cancer Surgery”.

Patient-centered outcomes research (PCOR) seeks to assist stakeholders (patients, their family members , friends and care providers) communicate and make informed healthcare decisions, allowing multiple voices to be heard in assessing the value and efficacy of healthcare options.  PCOR answers patient-centered questions such as: “What can I do to improve the outcomes that are most important to me?” and “How can clinicians and the care delivery systems they work in help me make the best decisions about my health?” (http://www.pcori.org/). Dr. Cooke is seeking to bring the concept of PCOR to thoracic surgery research and improve outcomes for patients undergoing lung cancer surgery.

Lung cancer surgery, specifically lobectomy (removing 1/5 of the lung) and pneumonectomy (removing the entire lung on one side), are the gold-standard therapies for early and locally advanced lung cancer.  However, lung cancer surgery is high-risk and associated and can be associated with an elevated risk of death (mortality), complications, and prolonged hospital length-of-stay and hospital readmissions.  In U.S. hospitals, national 30-day mortality after lobectomy ranges between 4-6% and 11-17% after pneumonectomy (Birkmeyer et al, N Engl J Med. 2002).  Dr. Cooke is investigating if patient and family participation can drive improvements in lung cancer surgery outcomes, leading to the creation of successful after-surgery patient care protocols that will translate the good results of high performing medical centers to all types of institutions performing lung cancer surgery.  Active engagement of patients and their families in the after-surgery clinical care process may improve the quality of life and overall survival of patients surgically treated for lung cancer.

By having a conversation with the #LCSM community, #LCSM will put to light what after-surgery clinical and functional outcomes are most important to patients and family and friends after surgery for lung cancer.  Talk about the communication between the patient, family/friends & healthcare providers after their operation and during their hospital stay. Were there any problems and if so how can surgeons, patients and all stakeholders improve the communication?  And finally, what changes in the lung cancer surgery care process are needed to achieve the clinical and functional goals that are important to patients and their family/friends?

With the above goals, here are the 3 questions that will be discussed during the June 19th Tweet Chat:

What are clinical and functional outcomes after #lungcancer surgery that are most important to patients & families? #LCSM

T1 What post-op clinical and functional outcomes are most important to you (patients & family) after #surgery for #lungcancer. #lcsm

T2 Talk about communication between the patient, family & HCPs after operation and during hospital stay. Problems/how to improve? #lcsm

T3 ? changes in #lungcancer surgery care process are needed to achieve clinical/functional goals important to patients & family. #lcsm

Here is more info on how to participate in the #LCSM Chat.  To learn more about how to support the Section of General Thoracic Surgery’s innovative research, click here.