High-tech ‘war room’ centrepiece of new San cancer centre

The 'war room' at the San's new Integrated Cancer Centre.

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A high-tech “cancer war room” is the centrepiece of the new Integrated Cancer Centre (ICC) at Sydney Adventist Hospital.

The purpose-built multidisciplinary room, which cost about $A1 million, is designed for specialist doctors to simultaneous review a cancer patient’s case. Technology in the room allows the real time sharing of a range of information, such as pathology results and radiology images, from multiple sources to assist in diagnosis and treatment.

Associate Professor Gavin Marx, director of cancer services at the San, said it is now recognised worldwide that a multidisciplinary approach to cancer care helps increase survival outcomes and improves the patient experience.

“As we progress and continue to improve outcomes for our patients, the treatment and treatment options become more complex,” he explained to the guests gathered yesterday to celebrate the final completion of the ICC.

“To achieve the best outcomes we need to be able to all work together in an efficient and collaborative manner. Our multidisciplinary meeting room is phenomenal. Using state-of-the-art technology it allows us to work effectively together as a group with all the information required to define the best treatment options for an individual patient based on the input and expertise of all the sub-specialities involved.”

Cutting the ribbon: North Shore politicians Paul Fletcher, Jennifer Anderson, Alister Henskens and Matt Kean with Gavin Marx (centre).

San information technology manager Barbara McKenzie said the room contained elements of audio visual technology that would be in a video conferencing room, overlaid with crisis management technology.

“I do refer to this room as the cancer war room because in the process of designing the technology to support the multidisciplinary team meetings we realised what the expert cancer doctors needed was a miniature crisis management room where they could collaborate digitally. And from a patient’s perspective they are in a fight against cancer,” she said.

Hospital CEO Phil Currie said the centre is a “world-class facility”. “This is a special resource for our community,” he said.

Planning for the ICC began 11 years ago and involved a significant fundraising effort.

Dick Warburton, co-chairman of the San Foundation Capital Campaign, revealed that $A23 million had been raised in donations for the project.

Tanya Manwaring shares her cancer journey.

Mother-of-three Tanya Manwaring, who was diagnosed with an aggressive stage 3 breast cancer last December, said it was reassuring to have a number of doctors working on her case.

“My confidence increased, my fear dissipated,” she said. “My horrible assumptions about what lay ahead for me and all the misinformation that goes with it was replaced with facts and compassionate conversations about how a treatment plan would be individually mapped out for me and what it would look like on a week-to-week basis.”

Federal MP Paul Fletcher and state MPs Matt Kean and Alister Henskens were among the other guests at the event.

The multidisciplinary room is the last element of the hospital’s $A200 million-plus redevelopment that has taken place over the past few years.


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