Are the patients discussed at the end of a MDT meeting disadvantaged in terms of the time taken to discuss their case: A prospective audit
Background: Multidisciplinary team (MDT) meetings are an important part of cancer care services. The discussions ensure that a consensus is reached for the treatment of each patient. It has been hypothesized that patients at the end of a MDT meeting may have reduced discussion compared with patients at the start, potentially compromising patient care.Aims: To determine whether there is an association between discussion duration and order of discussion in a MDT meeting.Standards: There are currently no local, regional or national standards for the minimum amount of time a patient should be allocated for discussion in a MDT meeting.Methodology: Data collection: prospective sample of patients discussed at the Head&Neck MDT meetings at Royal Derby Hospital, over a 14month period. Only meetings with every case discussion timed were included in the audit.Sample size: 19 meetings totalling 466 discussions.The data was analysed using Mood's Median test to determine if the duration of patient discussion was influenced by the order in which the discussion took place.Results: The p-value was found to be 0.379, therefore the hypothesized interaction between duration of discussion and position in the list was not found to be significant (p > 0.05).Conclusions: In conclusion it is reassuring that our results suggest that patients discussed at the end of the MDT meeting are not disadvantaged in terms of the time taken to discuss their case. We note that although this conclusion is positive, recommendations have still been made to improve the efficiency of the meetings.