Oral Presentation Clinical Oncology Society of Australia Annual Scientific Meeting 2017

The role of optimal care pathways in achieving system reform (#118)

Kathryn Whitfield 1
  1. Department of Health & Human Services, Melbourne, VIC, Australia

The role of optimal care pathways in achieving system reform

Kathryn Whitfield[i]

Most jurisdictions have clear policies aimed at reorienting care delivery systems to drive efficiency, quality and outcomes. Another clear focus is improving the patient experience and ensuring care is coordinated and person- and family-centred. The optimal care pathways (OCPs) for people with cancer, support these policy objectives and embed them into a framework to guide action. The OCPs are applicable across settings and throughout the continuum of care from prevention to survival/end-of-life care. The OCPs reflect consistent action principles across tumour types, uniform steps in the pathways and incorporate tumour specific detail. Each OCP is available in full clinical detail, quick reference guides and consumer versions.

Pathways of care have been promoted in a range of diseases and settings. Some are linked to clinical guidelines and payment models, delivered in a top down way. In contrast, the OCPs for people with cancer have been developed collaboratively with clinicians and consumers to help define a standard of care that should be available across the health system. Each of the current fifteen tumour specific OCPs have been subject to broad public consultation and subsequently ratified by the National Cancer Expert Reference Group and recommended to the COAG Health Ministers for endorsement. This model of collaborative development, broad review and endorsement at senior policy levels creates fertile conditions for and buy-in to achieve system reform aided by the OCPs.

This presentation will discuss the collaborative development model, provide examples of how the OCPs are helping to drive system improvements and possible future initiatives. 


[i] Department of Health and Human Services Victoria