24 Mar 2021

The study was led by Tayana Soukup, a researcher  in the Centre for Implementation Science at King’s College London.  The study looked at how team composition, communication, time-workload pressures, logistical issues and complexity of the cases impact on the quality of decision-making in cancer multidisciplinary team (MDT) meetings. The study can be extrapolated to other healthcare settings that use MDT model of care such as mental health care, as well as organisational meetings that rely on input from a diverse range of professions.

Video call team meeting

Cancer MDT meetings involve a heavy workload for staff, they are expensive and exert financial pressure on healthcare resources. It is important that MDTs organise their meetings in a way that takes into consideration caseload, length of the meeting, logistical issues, communication practices and team composition.

New guidelines aim to reduce the workload at MDT meetings but they also mean that the most complex cases, which would benefit more from the MDT discussion need to be identified. Currently there is no reliable way to do so.

Dr Soukup says: “To the best of our knowledge, we have developed, as part of the study, the first tool (MeDiC) to assess the complexity of cancer patients managed by an MDT. It should help streamline MDT meetings in an accurate, reliable and consistent manner.”

MeDiC combines the range of perspectives within a multidisciplinary team on what constitutes a complex case. The next step is evaluation of the tool in real clinical environments.

Read the NIHR Alert