Victorian clinicians rally to improve prospects for lung cancer patients

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Clinicians from across Victoria came together for a Community of Practice on the 6 December 2016 to discuss improvements in the delivery of lung cancer care and explore some of the common challenges facing lung cancer teams across the state.

The event was an important step in the delivery of the Victorian Lung Cancer Service Redesign Project (VLCSRP), which is dedicated to decreasing delays in the diagnosis and treatment of lung cancer.

The project was established following a Victorian Integrated Services (VICS) Lung Cancer Summit in 2014, which identified improved access and timelines to treatment as a key opportunity for lung cancer patients.

Since then, grant funding has been made available to Victorian public health services to support local lung cancer service redesign projects and to assist hospitals develop systems and measures that target improvements in the timeliness of lung cancer care.

Four health services across the state are now focused on creating improvements to the referral, diagnosis and treatment of lung cancer. Participating health services include Alfred Health, Eastern Health, Bendigo Health, GoulburnValleyHealth/Albury Wodonga Health Service.

Additional funding was made available by the Department of Health and Human Services for another four sites which include Austin Health, Ballarat Health, Barwon Health and Monash Health to carry out redesign activities in their lung cancer services.

Hosted by SMICS the Community of Practice forum provided an opportunity for information sharing and discussion.

Each health service delivered a PowerPoint presentation detailing the findings from the diagnostic phase of their local lung redesign projects. Some of the common themes included:

  • Coordination of care
  • Referral pathways
  • Need for rapid access clinic
  • Multidisciplinary care

The event support sharing of experiences and learnings and facilitate joint problem solving and create, spread and sustain best practice in lung cancer service design.

Featured speakers included:

  • Robert Stirling (A/Professor Department of Allergy Immunology and Respiratory Medicine and Clinical Leader) presented ‘VLCSRP prospective data collection and data method analysis’
  • Julie Cairns (General Manager Olivia Newton-John Cancer & Wellness Centre) and
    Soumitri Varadarajan (Deputy Dean – Industrial and Interior Design, School of Architecture and Design, RMIT) presented ‘Design for Care: Improving the Care Experience’
  • Elizabeth Paul (Redesign Facilitator, Eastern Health) presented ‘Solution design and implementation: presentation and activity’.

The Victorian Lung Cancer Registry will add further support to the delivery of the VLCRS project by providing a standard approach to data collection and evaluation across the participating sites.

For more information about the VLCSR project contact Geraldine Largey, Program Manager, Research and Special Projects, SMICSon telephone (03) 9928 8602 or email geraldine.largey@monashhealth.org.