Hannon_B_headshot BH

Electronic screening of advanced cancer patient’s symptoms to identify those who may benefit from referral to a palliative care service

Dr. Breffni Hannon, MB, BCh, BAO, MMedSci

Award: 2021 Compassion and Technology Fellow

  • Palliative Care
  • Symptom Screening
  • Virtual Care

Physician, Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, University Health Network

Early palliative care has been shown to improve outcomes for patients with advanced cancer and is now widely recommended alongside standard care by international cancer organizations. Providing specialist palliative care to all patients with advanced cancer is not possible due to limited resources; instead, healthcare providers must identify patients who would benefit most from this care and develop ways to target these patients specifically. Breffni will use symptom severity scores collected routinely in oncology clinics to trigger a referral to the palliative care clinic. This practice will be offered using video calls, or telephone, to make sure it is accessible to as many patients as possible, and to allow family members to take part more easily in visits.