Project Description

Inspire examines patients’ roles in choosing cancer surgery

PALO ALTO, CA — Sept. 15, 2017 — Inspire’s senior director of research, Dave Taylor, is helping lead a panel discussion today focused on how cancer patients choose a hospital for surgery. The main stage session at Stanford Medicine X is also examining what information patients would have liked to know before their surgeries.

The conference session was developed by cancer treatment and research institution Memorial Sloan Kettering (MSK), the national media outlet ProPublica, and Inspire, and is founded on a survey of nearly 4,000 Inspire members affected by cancer.

The study objectives were to understand how people with cancer choose US hospitals for their cancer surgery, and to help improve how people choose hospitals for cancer care. Types of cancer represented in the survey included thyroid, lung, breast, bladder, ovarian, prostate, and colorectal.

A slide from the Inspire/Memorial Sloan Kettering/ProPublica panel discussion at the Stanford Medicine X conference.

Only a quarter of survey respondents said they tried to find information that compared the selected hospital with other hospitals before making the surgery decision.

Patients said that reputation of hospitals for cancer surgery, the satisfaction scores of those hospitals, and whether the hospitals were in their insurance networks were all high priorities for desired information.

About 75% of the respondents said they would use an online tool to help research choices for cancer surgery if they faced surgery again.

While there has been considerable focus finding new cures for cancer, particularly fueled by the national Cancer Moonshot Initiative, session organizers say that no similar effort is being dedicated to providing good care for patients with cancer.

Joining Taylor today to present the survey data and their implications are Peter Bach, MD, director of the Memorial Sloan Kettering Center for Health Policy and Outcomes, ProPublica health journalist Charlie Ornstein. Also on the panel are breast cancer survivor Tonya Bellati, a member of Inspire’s Advanced Breast Cancer Support Community, and Alicia Staley, a cancer survivor and patient advocate.

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Inspire's cancer presentation at Stanford Medicine X

Dave Taylor, senior director of research at Inspire, in the middle, speaks at the cancer presentation at the Stanford Medicine X conference. With Taylor, from left, were Charles Ornstein of ProPublica, Peter Bach, MD, of Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, patient advocate Tonya Bellati, and breast cancer survivor Alicia Staley on the right.