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Study Shows Nurse Involvement With TheONC.org Will Improve Care For Over 365,000 Cancer Patients

NORWALK, Conn., Feb. 13, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- UBM Medica US today announced that a recent follow-up study shows members of The Oncology Nurse Community ( TheONC.org) continue to apply knowledge from the online network to optimize care for a conservative estimate of over 365,000 cancer patients each year. Oncology nurse members surveyed reported improved understanding of topics such as fertility preservation and cancer pain management, and are continuing to utilize this knowledge in their day-to-day practice. Applying an outcomes-based focus to a unique, structured online community demonstrates how a site such as TheONC can have a real-world impact on clinical practice and patient care. 

Launched in February 2012, TheONC is a free online community exclusively created for oncology nurses and the cancer care teams that support them. With a membership base of over 8,500, TheONC now reaches approximately 20 percent of the oncology nurse universe in the United States. This latest outcomes study was conducted by Improve CME, LLC, a third-party continuing medical education outcomes measurement and analysis company, to assess TheONC as a resource for healthcare providers and to evaluate the impact of an online community on patient care.

"In just one year, we've achieved significant success with TheONC – the size of our membership has grown exponentially, and this latest study continues to confirm that we are meeting a critical need within the oncology nurse community by providing a secure environment where members have access to clinically-relevant information and can share best practices," said Brian Field, EVP, and Managing Director at UBM Medica US.  "These results demonstrate how social platforms can serve as a catalyst for knowledge and behavior change among healthcare providers, with the ultimate goal of improving patient care."

Duplicating the methodology used in the initial 2012 assessment, Improve CME undertook a variety of quantitative and qualitative measurements to measure increases in knowledge, confidence and intent to improve behavior among community members, imposing the same rigors typically applied to formally accredited educational programs to a social platform. At the time of this most recent study, TheONC had over 7,000 members, of which 882 responded. Data collected through the outcomes assessment demonstrated application of information to practice and positive patient impact as follows:

  • 81% of respondents reported that content from TheONC has improved their professional satisfaction
  • 84% of respondents have applied what they've learned on TheONC to day-to-day care of their patients 
  • 89% of outcomes survey respondents reported improving care for a combined total of 12,494 to 19,352 patients with cancer in the month prior to survey completion

"We are pleased to continue working with UBM Medica US on this novel approach to optimizing and measuring the educational benefits of an online community," said Derek Dietze, President of Improve CME, LLC. "Based on our evaluation, we found that site members continue to use what they've learned to improve practice and behavior – ultimately benefitting their patients.  In fact, we conservatively estimate that the 7,156 members of the site at the time of our assessment will improve care for more than 365,000 patients with cancer over the course of a one-year period as a result of their involvement with TheONC."

TheONC.org is supported by an unrestricted grant from Bristol-Myers Squibb.

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