Afreen Shariff, in mask and glasses, speaks with a patient in clinic

Shariff Receives Community Cancer Centers Innovator Award

Afreen Shariff, MD, assistant professor in the division of Endocrinology, Metabolism and Nutrition, has been selected by the Association of Community Cancer Centers (ACCC) as a 2023 Innovator Award recipient for her work on the effectiveness of electronic consults for immune-related endocrine toxicities.

Shariff in 2020 created the acuity-based Duke Endo-Oncology Electronic Consultative Service, which has since done consults for more than 300 patients. The biggest gain has been the cost-saving impact as Shariff reduced both the time to appointment and hospitalizations from 61 days to 39 days and from 11% to 2%, respectively.  (See New Endo-Oncology Program is Reducing Wait Times and Hospital Admissions.)

“We have been able to provide value-based, high-impact service that saves lives, patients time and it turns out we also save the system hundreds of thousands of dollars with admissions we have been able to prevent,” said Shariff, an endocrinologist with expertise in endocrine disease in cancer patients. “This has been a win-win situation for everyone, oncologists, us and most importantly our patients, who deserve to continue effective cancer treatments while worrying less about how side effects will be managed.”