Optimal Care Pathways – Community of Practice

Delivering Optimal Care Pathways (OCP’s) will be a core activity of the Victorian Integrated Cancer Services over the next five years, to ensure better health service efficiencies and improved patient experiences and outcomes.

Lung cancer and colorectal cancer have been identified as the two priority Optimal Care Pathways for review.

In late November participants from the  Integrated Cancer Services and Primary Health Networks (PHN’s) came together for a Community of Practice (CoP)  to discuss the statewide implementation of optimal care pathways and to support ICS and Primary Health Network partners through the process of determining the priority work areas.

Guest speaker Professor Jon Emery, presented  the I-PACED project – Implementing Pathways for Cancer Early Diagnosis.  This project is piloting an existing academic detailing approach, throughout GP practices in North Western Melbourne Primary Health Network and Western Victoria PHN, to educate GPs about critical primary care points along colorectal and lung cancer OCPs and the recommended care that should be offered. I-PACED is focusing on Steps 1 and 2 of OCPs detailed in the diagram below. ocps-diagram

The opportunity to consider how the consumer experience can be incorporated into the implementation process for OCPs was provided by Sue Hegarty,Support Manager, Ovarian Cancer Australia who presented the findings from a consumer survey recently completed by Ovarian Cancer Australia.

Participants also heard from  a cancer patient  – whose cancer experience included delays in diagnosis, and miscommunication throughout her journey.

Advance Care Planning (ACP) for patients was identified as an area that requires additional consideration in the implementation of OCP’s. Linda Nolte, Manager of Advance Care Planning Australia provided a succinct overview of the processes already in place across Victoria to support the roll out of this initiative.  This will enable ICS with their prioritisation of activities in relation to ACPs.

Guided discussions and networking opportunities also enabled CoP participants to identify common gaps in OCP implementation as well as prioritisation frameworks for identifying priority activities.

The next CoP is planned for February 2017, to support the implementation process.