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J Oncol Pract. 2016 Nov;12(11):983-991. Epub 2016 Sep 30.

Deploying Team Science Principles to Optimize Interdisciplinary Lung Cancer Care Delivery: Avoiding the Long and Winding Road to Optimal Care.

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Multidisciplinary Thoracic Oncology Program, Baptist Cancer Center; School of Public Health, University of Memphis, Memphis, TN; School of Public Health, University of California, Berkeley, Berkeley; Bonnie J. Addario Lung Cancer Foundation, San Carlos; Kaiser Permanente Southern California, Pasadena, CA; Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Boston, MA; and Meridian Cancer Care and Rutgers Medical School, Neptune, NJ.


The complexity of lung cancer care mandates interaction between clinicians with different skill sets and practice cultures in the routine delivery of care. Using team science principles and a case-based approach, we exemplify the need for the development of real care teams for patients with lung cancer to foster coordination among the multiple specialists and staff engaged in routine care delivery. Achieving coordinated lung cancer care is a high-priority public health challenge because of the volume of patients, lethality of disease, and well-described disparities in quality and outcomes of care. Coordinating mechanisms need to be cultivated among different types of specialist physicians and care teams, with differing technical expertise and practice cultures, who have traditionally functioned more as coactively working groups than as real teams. Coordinating mechanisms, including shared mental models, high-quality communication, mutual trust, and mutual performance monitoring, highlight the challenge of achieving well-coordinated care and illustrate how team science principles can be used to improve quality and outcomes of lung cancer care. To develop the evidence base to support coordinated lung cancer care, research comparing the effectiveness of a diverse range of multidisciplinary care team approaches and interorganizational coordinating mechanisms should be promoted.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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