The Passport for Care® application is an innovative healthcare initiative headed by faculty members of Baylor College of Medicine and Texas Children’s Cancer Center that addresses the need to provide survivors of childhood cancer with increased access to their medical information and healthcare guidelines. It is an interactive Internet resource that provides the user with accurate, timely, and individualized healthcare information on a “just-in-time” basis.
The Passport for Care® application for survivors of childhood cancer was developed to address the healthcare information needs of the estimated 350,000+ long-term survivors in the United States. The Institute of Medicine and the President’s Cancer Panel have identified the provision of comprehensive follow-up medical care to long-term survivors of cancer as a critical national priority. Child and young adult survivors are often at risk for serious medical problems that result from cancer and its treatment. Obtaining consistent medical follow-up is confounded by several factors. Americans change primary healthcare providers on an average of every two years. Survivors themselves are often unfamiliar with the details of their treatment history and are unable to accurately share pertinent medical information with their healthcare providers. Primary care providers, in turn, are often unfamiliar with cancer treatments or with recommendations regarding surveillance for long-term complications of cancer and cancer therapy. In the current healthcare environment, obtaining consistent follow-up for the survivor population is extremely difficult and has been identified both by the Institute of Medicine and the President’s Cancer Panel as a major challenge to our healthcare system.
Passport for Care® Clinician Portal
The Children’s Oncology Group (COG) developed guidelines for management of late effects of treatment for childhood cancer. These guidelines provide a means of anticipating potential health problems related to specific cancer diagnoses and treatment modalities and dosages. The long-term guidelines represent an excellent resource; and the Texas Children’s Cancer Center partnered with the Children’s Oncology Group to create and deploy the Passport for Care Clinician Portal.
The Passport for Care Clinician Portal allows pediatric oncology caregivers, with survivor permission, to enter into a secure database details of the specific types and scope of cancer treatments that the survivor received. A guideline-based algorithm then automatically generates specific information on risks for late effects from childhood cancer and recommendations for screening and follow-up to manage risks. This information can be shared with other care providers, including primary and specialty care providers.
The Passport for Care Clinician Portal has already been adopted by over 125 childhood cancer centers nationally and abroad, with another 65 preparing for adoption. Treatment histories on over 20,000 survivors have been entered into the Passport for Care.
However, the Passport for Care Clinician Portal addresses only part of the need. In order for guideline-based follow-up care to be available to childhood cancer survivors over their lifespan, information on treatment histories, risks from late effects, and strategies for managing risks must be available to survivors directly so that they can share it with healthcare providers. The Passport for Care Survivor Portal was developed to give the survivors access to the information they need in a form that will be accessible with computers and mobile devices and empower them to be actively engaged in their own follow-up care.