Following the Australian Health Ministers’ Advisory Council’s (AHMAC) endorsement of the 15 Optimal Cancer Care Pathways (OCPs) in October 2015, all jurisdictions have completed a pilot implementation of during 2016-17.
The aim of this pilot was for each jurisdiction to adopt or implement one or more of the tumour specific OCPs into their cancer health services to examine existing health service delivery against the OCP.
The implementation of one or more OCPs was undertaken under each jurisdictional cancer plan and was different in each jurisdiction and was overseen by the National Cancer Expert Reference Group.
While each jurisdiction took a different approach, the pilot has shown that the OCPs can be employed in several ways to bring improvements to cancer care.
At a national level the work has shown that the OCPs are a valuable and effective tool to generate change toward optimal cancer care.
The process of bringing together clinicians across the complex pathway has developed greater understanding of the roles, needs and challenges of consumers and service providers across the continuum of care.
The collection of data to measure health system performance against the OCP was considered by all jurisdictions as a valuable process to drive change. However, the resources to extract the relevant data form existing systems was a limiting factor to being able to demonstrate optimal care is being delivered.
The OCPs are also an important resource for consumers.
What are Optimal Cancer Care Pathways?
The Optimal Cancer Care Pathways (OCPs) are designed to ensure consistent treatment and outcomes for people suffering cancer. Each pathway has been developed by an expert group and maps the key steps in a cancer patient’s journey from diagnosis to survivorship or end-of-life care.