The pathway for cancer patients undergoing diagnosis and treatment for cancer is complex and often poorly comprehended by those involved. The development of Optimal Care Pathways (OCPs) for 15 specific tumour types map the patient journey in such a way the whole pathway and its distinct components promote the delivery of consistent quality cancer care.
To describe the framework and progress of implementation for the nationally endorsed Optimal Care Pathways in Victoria across all sectors that provide care to patients with a cancer diagnosis.
In early February 2016 the Victorian Department of Health and Human Service (DHHS) prioritised the implementation of the Lung and Colorectal OCPs across all aspects of the health sectors. Harnessing the expertise and resources of the Victorian Integrated Cancer Services, in collaboration with partner organisations such as Primary Health Networks, a service redesign approach was adopted to provide a structured coordinated framework for implementation. Major focus of initial activity centred on identifying variation and determining how best to align such practices with OCP recommendations. Resulting actions are expected to involve co-design with consumers, as is standard for a redesign approach
First stage reporting has provided a local lens (metropolitan and regional) within a state wide context. Such knowledge is assisting the identification of opportunities to better align access and timeliness within the entire care trajectory. There is a clear expectation in the Victorian strategy that alongside indicators of efficiency, quality indicators such as communication and support are equally weighted in implementation initiatives. It is hoped that with this coordinated activity, patient needs will be addressed fully and in a timely manner to ensure a good quality of life.