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COA insights: Leveraging technology for smarter cancer care delivery


May 2024

COA insights: Leveraging technology for smarter cancer care delivery

Olalekan Ajayi, PharmD, MBA, Chief Operating Officer of Highlands Oncology Group, PA, and 2023-2024 President-elect of the Association of Community Cancer Centers (ACCC), discusses the challenges faced by the oncology field in a post-pandemic landscape.

A key takeaway is the need to upskill the workforce to address the complexities of cancer care. Dr. Ajayi emphasizes the importance of technology and effective leadership in achieving this goal, pointing to various Flatiron initiatives that address knowledge gaps and workflow inefficiencies for physicians. Features of OncoEMR® like user-friendly mobile access and seamless integrations are showcased as empowering tools.

Watch the video to learn more about how Flatiron's solutions can help your oncology practice thrive.

COA insights - leveraging technology


Flatiron: How did you see the field of oncology evolve during your time as the president of ACCC?

Ajayi: When I took over as president of ACCC, we were just coming out of the COVID pandemic.  It had a really huge impact on our workforce. And so what we saw was that our workforce just was not prepared enough coming back into the workforce to actually take care of the challenges that we need for taking care of patients. And so I felt that there was a huge need to upscale our workforce and to prepare them for the complexities of cancer care. And indeed it's changed quite a bit. We've learned that people coming into the workforce post-COVID are probably a lot less experienced than those who used to be there. So, the need to continuously work on upskilling our workforce has become really very important. And so those are some of the trends and the changes that I'm seeing with cancer care during my presidency.

Flatiron: Where are you focusing next to drive positive change in this field?

Ajayi: So what I'm focused on, again, is helping augment our workforce. More specifically, I’m focused on how to leverage technology and provide the right leadership to better prepare our staff for the skills they need. We've heard so much about AI and we've heard about the promise of AI in helping create an even playing field for people to be able to do the work that they do every day and to be able to do it well. So a lot of my focus right now is looking at those things, be it leadership or technology that can help augment the work that we do every day so that we can do it at a higher level and actually focus on the things that we enjoy doing every day.

Flatiron: How do you foresee working with tech partners like Flatiron to accelerate these goals?

Ajayi: I think Flatiron is actually a very important partner in helping achieve this. I think a lot of the initiatives Flatiron is bringing to light really helps mitigate gaps in knowledge, gaps in workflow. That's really been a huge challenge in meeting patient outcomes. I think Flatiron is very well positioned, particularly within the community oncology field, to serve as a platform to help nudge people in the right direction and help them make better choices with decision support tools.

Flatiron: What are some of the elements of Flatiron’s technology that you and your team find most valuable at Highlands Oncology Group?

Ajayi: A lot of what we find valuable, the immunization registries for example, is huge for us. It really helps streamline a lot of the documentation for some of our physicians. So that's been great. The more and more that we see this, we really see that Flatiron has positioned OncoEMR to be a physician- friendly EMR system. And that's just been great.

Flatiron: How does OncoEMR compare to other EHRs you have used?

Ajayi: I have used other EMRs in the past, and one of the things that really strikes me about OncoEMR is how easy it is to use the fact that it's mobile, and so people can access it from different areas even though they’re not within the clinic. The ease of integration is awesome too, particularly when you're talking about standard integration. OncoEMR has been really good at that. And finally, the customer service is great, and that's all you can ever ask for with a working partner.

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