A Nurse’s Innovation: “Virtual Monitoring” Increases Access, Decreases Travel

A nurse practitioner in the department of radiation oncology at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Boyajian manages the monitoring visits required for men who have been treated for prostate cancer. The good news for these patients is the high success rates for men who receive treatment. But they must follow-up regularly with blood tests to check for early signs of recurrence and with physician visits to report any symptoms.

Boyajian observed that a lot of time in the follow-up process was spent on repetitive tasks for the physicians and staff. With more than 90 percent of prostate cancer patients surviving for at least 10 years after treatment, that adds up to a lot of visits for departments like his. The visits also required time and travel for the patients.

Boyajian wondered if technology could offer a solution. He envisioned software that could harness “telemedicine” to provide the necessary follow-up without the patient coming to the doctor’s office. He approached Brigham iHub, which helps staffers bring technology-based ideas to fruition.