To evaluate whether implementing Cancer Australia’s five Principles for best practice management of lung cancer (Principles) could improve outcomes for patients affected by lung cancer.
Cancer Australia engaged four health service collaborations across eleven sites to implement and evaluate the Principles of: patient-centred care; timely access to evidence-based pathways of care; multidisciplinary care; coordination, communication and continuity of care; and data-driven improvements in lung cancer care.
Implementation strategies relevant to the local care context were developed and the impact of those strategies was evaluated through clinical audits, practice surveys, interviews with key informants, thematic analysis of qualitative data, and statistical analysis of numerical data.
The strategies were shown to support implementation of the Principles and resulted in improvements in consumer, service and systems-level outcomes. Discrete strategies were undertaken and different impacts on outcomes were observed. For example:
Patient-centred care. Discussion of patient preferences at multidisciplinary team meetings improved psychosocial care and enhanced care team awareness of patient preferences.
Timely access to evidence-based pathways of care. Implementation of a Lung Cancer Pathway for GPs improved GP partnerships with specialists and health organisations, and facilitated timely diagnosis of lung cancer.
Multidisciplinary care. Provision of a Multidisciplinary Team Meeting Summary to GPs improved continuity of care for patients, and improved engagement with primary care providers.
Communication and continuity of care. Implementation of a lung cancer care plan increased the likelihood of a patient having a nominated person as a care coordinator.
Data-driven improvements in lung cancer care. Clinical audits improved identification of gaps in service delivery.
Implementation of locally relevant strategies delivers lung cancer care according to the best practice Principles and results in improved consumer, service and systems-level outcomes.