Clinical application of optimal care pathways at a regional cancer centre

Skye Kinder, Karla Gough, Meinir Krishnasamy

Objective: To assess the feasibility of clinical application of recently produced Optimal Care Pathways and explore patterns of care for oncology patients receiving care based in the City of Greater Bendigo.

Design, setting and participants: A retrospective audit of hospital administrative and medical records data undertaken at Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre (PeterMac) and Bendigo Health between January and June 2016. Eligible cases were PeterMac patients with a residential address in the City of Greater Bendigo and who received care based at the PeterMac Bendigo campus as a new patient between 01 January and 31 December 2015.

Outcome measures: Congruence of routine care with timeframes for steps described in the Optimal Care Pathways for cancer patients commissioned by the Victorian Department or Health and Human Services.

Results: Assessment of congruence of routine care to the Optimal Care Pathways was complicated by missing data. Where data were available, many pathways of care did not fit the Optimal Care Pathway process map template, due to screening-related or asymptomatic presentations or appropriate deviations in clinical management responsive to individual patient need.

Conclusion: This study is the first to report feasibility of mapping routine care against the parameters recommended by the Optimal Care Pathways, and to provide guidance for the future assessment of usual care of cancer services to best practice guidelines.

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