New Canadian report breaks down patient-reported waste and inefficiency by province
The Canadian All.Can cancer initiative has published a major report of cancer care recommendations based on patient insights following a Canada-wide survey conducted last year that gathered insights from cancer patients and their caregivers. Of the 314 responses received, 255 of these were selected for a provincial analysis comparing results from British Columbia, Alberta, Ontario and Quebec.
The report, Patient insights on Canadian cancer care: opportunities for improving efficiency, highlights four major areas of cancer care inefficiency from the patient perspective. All.Can defines inefficiency in cancer care as anything that does not focus on what matters to patients.
“Patients are almost never included in conversations about cancer care. We need to listen to what patients say would improve their experience of care,” said Kathy Barnard, who is a stage IV melanoma survivor, Founder of Save Your Skin Foundation, and a steering committee member of the All.Can international group. “Ignoring the findings of this report would be a missed opportunity to do the right thing by patients and make changes that could make a real difference,” said Barnard.
Although some areas of healthcare in Canada are publicly funded in whole or in part, cancer patients – particularly those in rural areas and/or with limited access to financial resources – often experience high out-of-pocket health costs due to travel, missed work, and uninsured or under-insured drug expenditures. Alternatively, they forgo necessary treatments because they cannot afford them, with dire health consequences.
The cost of cancer care in Canada has risen steadily from $2.9 billion in 2005 to $7.5 billion in 2012. There is an urgent need to improve efficiency and reduce waste in cancer care in Canada. Improving efficiency is not a question of linear cost-cutting, but of finding ways to allocate resources more efficiently to achieve better health outcomes for patients. The report identifies four key areas for improvement based on patient insights. Below are a selection of highlighted findings from the survey report:
- Ensuring a swift, accurate and appropriately delivered diagnosis
- Improving information-sharing, support and shared decision-making
- Making integrated multidisciplinary care a reality for all patients
- Addressing the financial implications of cancer
All.Can Canada urges policymakers and the entire cancer community to act on these findings – as making these changes could make a real difference to patient outcomes and experiences of care, and the financial impact cancer has on patients, their families, the health system, and society as a whole.
This is supported by existing evidence: faster diagnosis can improve patient survival and is associated with reduced treatment costs for many cancers. Shared decision-making is associated with improved patient outcomes. To download a full copy of the All.Can international survey report, Patient insights on cancer care: opportunities for improving efficiency, visit: https://www.all-can.org/what-we-do/research/patient-survey/
To read more about All.Can Canada and our work with All.Can globally, please click here: