Research & Innovation

Onur Asan Receives $430,000 From NIH to Improve Health Information Technologies for Cancer Patients

A cancer diagnosis can be overwhelming to patients and family members. The initial oncology visits for a newly diagnosed cancer patient involve complex decision-making and emotions, which directly impact patient self-efficacy, confidence, trust, understanding of the disease process and treatment options, and ultimately, the choice of and adherence to treatment.

Dr. Onur Asan, an associate professor in Stevens' School of Systems ad Enterprises (SSE) who is an expert in doctor-patient communication and the impact of health information technologies in both adult and pediatric settings, was recently awarded a $430,000 by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to study how electronic health records (EHR) impact communication, trust and cognitive workload during initial oncology visits.

“Understanding this relationship is a precursor to design better technologies to support patients and families in this critical time of cancer treatment,” Asan said. “We are recruiting new cancer patients at Hackensack John Theurer Cancer Center, which has one of the largest volume cancer patients from diverse backgrounds in the nation, to study patient technology interaction.”

Aligned with the interdisciplinary systems thinking of SSE, this project employs human factors and systems engineering methodologies to explore how technology use in new cancer patient visits influence communication, cognitive workload as well as decision making. Asan hopes the outcomes of this research will provide important findings to optimize patient-centered EHR use and design in oncology settings.