Geisel researchers integrate novel network analysis and geospatial methods to evaluate care coordination for breast cancer patients in rural areas

Moen EL, Kapadia NS, O’Malley AJ, Onega T. Evaluating breast cancer care coordination at a rural National Cancer Institute Comprehensive Cancer Center using network analysis and geospatial methods. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2019; 28 (3): 455-61.

Summary: Physician patient-sharing networks offer a novel lens through which to study cancer care coordination. In this work, we analyzed electronic health record data from breast cancer patients in the Dartmouth-Hitchcock health system to examine associations between network-based measures of care coordination and geospatial factors. We found that greater travel burden and lower geographic dispersion of care were positively associated with care density, a network-based measure of care coordination, in a largely rural population. This study was featured on the cover of Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention Focus Issue on Population Health Assessment in Cancer Center Catchment Areas in March 2019.

Public health relevance: Identifying cancer patients at higher risk of receiving less coordinated care may help guide initiatives and allocate resources to improve care quality and patient outcomes.