Multi-disciplinary conferences and rounds with remote participation

Multidisciplinary conferences, also called multi-disciplinary rounds, belong to a work model in which different professionals jointly decide on the best treatment strategy for individual patients. Such conferences are conducted extensively at the University Hospital of Umeå, henceforth called Nus. Many rounds are local, but more and more frequently they have come to involve participants from other hospitals in the northern healthcare region joining the conference using videoconferencing technology. Some conferences are also national in character.

Participants typically connect to these conferences using advanced videoconferencing system enabling sharing of information from multiple sources, such as X-ray images, pathology specimens and health record entries. The majority of all conferences address cancer and participants represent a wide range of specialties, including surgery, oncology, radiology, pathology, medicine, orthopaedics, ear nose and throat, dental care, pulmonary medicine, endocrinology, gynaecology and clinical physiology. There are also rounds involving single professionals within a specific field, such as dermatology. Many of the conferences are similar in character and only a small selec-tion is included in this survey.

This text has been originally released in the following report: Telemedicine Survey in the County Council of Västerbotten -An analysis of the present situation, conditions and areas of improvement.

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The Pathology Department at Nus participates in about 60 rounds every week in different areas. The haematology round, held twice a month via video, is coordinated by the centre for laboratory medicine at Nus and is part of the normal routines since the late 1990s. Hospitals in the northern region…
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The multidisciplinary breast conference is managed from Nus and includes Skellefteå hospital. The conference started already in the late 1990s and is one of the first rounds that allowed remote participation. The conference deals with patients with breast cancer or suspected breast cancer, and all patients are discussed at the…
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There is a lack of full-time nephrologists at the dialysis unit in Lycksele Hospital, thus specialists at Nus regularly perform rounds remotely with support from the local staff in Lycksele. The rounds are enabled through mobile videoconferencing equipment, which makes it possible to carry out rounds wherever it is best…
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For more than a decade, the Centre of Medicine at Nus carries out joint rounds in renal pathology together with Karolinska University Hospital in Stockholm. Kidney biopsy specimens from patients in Umeå are prepared and sent to the pathologist at Karolinska. Once a month, renal pathologists at Karolinska connects to…
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Since many years, Nus and Sahlgrenska University Hospital holds joint rounds for patients from the Northern Healthcare Region who has undergone kidney transplantation at Sahlgrenska. The rounds are held every two months and currently include Östersund hospital as well. In case of clinical indications, renal biopsies are sampled from the…
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Within the colorectal area, i.e., colon, rectal and anal cancer, multidisciplinary rounds have been carried out for a long time. The rounds engage pathologists, oncologists, surgeons, radiologists, contact nurses, and all patients from Umeå and Skellefteå are brought up on the round. Since 2009, it is possible to join the…
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In conjunction with the construction of the radiotherapy unit at Sundsvall Hospital in 2000, a multidisciplinary round known as distributed radiotherapy was established between Nus and Sundsvall Hospital. The aim was to make use of the experience from Nus radiotherapy and support the dose planning for patients to be treated…
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Once a month, a regional dermatology round is held by the dermatology clinic at Nus with participation from the hospitals in Östersund, Sunderbyn and Sundsvall. The round utilizes videoconference with ability to simultaneously show clinical images and focuses on complex cases where the specialists want to discuss how to manage…
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In the dialysis area, so-called access meetings are held via video conferencing and involve physicians and biomedical scientists from the physiology lab (fyslab), doctor and nurse from the dialysis unit and vascular surgeon and doctors from the IR lab. Activities include Nus, Skellefteå and Lycksele Hospitals. The aim of the…
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This is a regional round involving patients in Northern Sweden with tumours in the lung and thorax. Since 2009, the lung clinics at Nus, Sunderby, Östersund and Sundsvall hospitals participate in the round with professionals in the fields of oncology, thoracic surgery, radiology, pathology and pulmonary medicine. Patients are brought…
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Regional round established since many years that addresses patients from Northern Sweden with neuro-endocrine tumours. Frequent participants are Nus, Östersund Hospital and Uppsala Academic Hospital, although several other hospitals in the northern healthcare region are also invited. Among the Swedish university hospitals, the Academic Hospital is most experienced with this…
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In Sweden there are five sarcoma centres responsible for diagnosing and treating tumours mainly in the extremities, abdominal and trunk wall, and pelvis. In addition, they handle certain tumours of the abdomen and underlying organs as well as the spine, chest, neck and shoulder region. Sarcoma rounds are held locally…
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