On-Line Service Helps Doctors Treat Tough Cases

On-Line Service Helps Doctors Treat Tough Cases

Professor Kwong Yok-lam (front row, second from left) and the Haematology Team of the Department of Medicine introduced the first unified Haematology Protocol in HK

The treatment of blood cancers and diseases is notoriously difficult because the conditions are often life-threatening, they require urgent treatment, and the medicines used can be toxic and complicated to administer. Even specialists find it difficult to manage patients well.

That situation inspired the Haematology team in the Department of Medicine to draw together the latest expert advice and practices and make them more accessible to doctors so they have a fuller range of information when treating their patients.

The Multi-media Haematology Protocol, which is available as an iPad/iPhone application, through a dedicated website and in book format, offers both the first unified protocol in this field in Hong Kong and a new model of medical practice for Hong Kong.

"This is the first time that online technology has been harnessed in the dissemination of medical management and treatment standards. Now, doctors, nurses and patients all have a common reference for blood disease management," said Professor Kwong Yok-lam, Chui Fook-Chuen Professor in Molecular Medicine and Chair Professor of Medicine, who designed the protocol and led the project.

Doctors can get the most up to date information on investigation strategies and treatments and they can quickly reference drug dosage, drug administration and side effects. They can also get an idea of what is working or not in other hospitals in Hong Kong and adjust their approach.

The handbook and applications are available free to all practicing haematologists, oncologists, nurses and other interested doctors in Hong Kong, who have given positive feedback on the materials to Professor Kwong and his team.

They also publish a quarterly newsletter which is sent to haematologists and oncologists in Hong Kong and to international collaborators, who similarly have offered positive comments on their work.

A Chinese translation of the protocol is planned so the information can be used by haematologists in Mainland China and elsewhere. Professor Kwong said they also hoped to secure funding so the online platform could be developed further to facilitate doctor-patient interactions and knowledge exchange between medical practitioners.

The Head of the Department of Medicine, Professor Karen Lam Siu-ling, who nominated the Haematology team's project for the Faculty KE award, said the combination of a unified protocol, transfer of knowledge and use of modern IT applications was an inspiring way to apply medicine. "Their innovative approach certainly serves as an excellent success model for all of us engaged in health care and education," she said.

Professor Kwong Yok-lam and the Division of Haematology of the Department of Medicine received the Faculty Knowledge Exchange Award 2013 of the Li Ka Shing Faculty of Medicine for the 'Multi-media Haematology Protocol: Haematology Protocol Book, iPad / iPhone App, Internet website'.