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Award Recipients 2013

 

Quality Award

Implementation of a Medication Reimbursement Specialist (MRS) Role to Facilitate Medication Access for Outpatient Oncology Patients
Princess Margaret Cancer Centre
Karen Chuk, Yvonne Ta, Vivian Choy, Esther Fung, Anna Lee


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Background

Difficulties in securing drug coverage for costly outpatient oncology agents can lead to significant financial burden to patients and in some cases, delayed initiation of required drug therapy.

Navigating through public and private drug insurance procedures for program enrolment, eligibility assessments and drug reimbursement can be complex and time-consuming, resulting in increased efforts and frustration for patients, caregivers and healthcare providers

Solution

The Princess Margaret Cancer Centre piloted a three-year oncology-focused MRS position to support and guide clinicians and patients through drug coverage processes. From June 2010 to July 2012, the MRS conducted 538 patient consultations across 14 clinical oncology specialties.

Results

Coverage for the drug of choice was successfully obtained for 98 per cent of all patients. The average turnaround time for drug access was 10 days versus the previous three-week to three-month turnaround time pre-MRS role. Total drug costs avoided for patients was $2,012,738.80, averaging $3,741.15 per patient.

Due to the pilot’s success, the MRS position is now a permanent role; a second MRS position was added to support and sustain this new standard of patient care.


Innovation Award

Ottawa Cardiac Oncology Program (OCOP)
The Ottawa Hospital
Susan Dent, Michele Turek, Christopher Johnson, Angeline Law, Ellamae Stadnick, Sean Hopkins, Nadine Graham, Jeff Sulpher


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Background

With the evolution of systemic and targeted therapies in cancer therapy, it has become increasingly evident that damage to the heart may occur as a result of cancer treatment.  Although cardiac toxicities associated with conventional chemotherapy are well known, the short- and long-term effects of targeted agents on the heart are less well understood.

Solution

The OCOP was established at The Ottawa Hospital in 2008 by a multidisciplinary team consisting of medical oncology, cardiology and pharmacy, and was the first program of its kind in Canada.

For patients and their families, navigating and understanding the complexities of the cancer care system and the impact of care post-treatment can be overwhelming. This difficulty is compounded if complications from cancer treatment occur, requiring a multidisciplinary approach involving several medical specialties.

Results

OCOP provides patients with an integrated approach to cancer therapy, with seamless communication between healthcare providers, as well as timely access to medical assessment and treatment services, having an impact on quality of life post treatment.

The OCOP enables this type of collaboration, resulting in improved patient satisfaction, compliance with therapy and better overall treatment outcomes.


Honourable Mention for Quality

Development of a patient centred regional esophageal program in collaboration with patients, primary care, acute care and HNHB LHIN partners
St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton and HNHB LHIN
Dr. Yaron Shargall, Ms. Jackie Barrett, Ms. Laura Wheatley, Dr. David Morgan, Dr. Ranjan Sur, Dr. Jennifer Everson, Ms. Laura Schneider, Dr. Christian Finley, Dr. Colin Schieman, Ms. Jennifer Pocock, Ms. Jillian Morton, Ms. Irene Wilson


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Background

Most cases of esophageal cancer are diagnosed when the cancer is advanced resulting in the second lowest 5 year survival of all cancers at 13%. There was no care path or system in place to ensure equitable access to timely diagnostics and treatment, which improves patient outcomes; and even for those diagnosed with advanced cancer, treatment can slow the progress and relieve symptoms.

Solution

St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton developed a care path and Esophageal Diagnostic Assessment Program (EDAP) to identify patients needing immediate referral for suspected esophageal cancer. EDAP has a single access point for referrals to reduce wait times for diagnosis, minimize repeated tests, and improve patient experience and treatment outcomes.

Results

For patients with suspected esophageal cancer, EDAP and the standardized care path reduce workload on family physicians by getting their patients the right care at the right time.

The program also reduces the time family physicians spend on navigating the healthcare system to access diagnostic testing and referrals to specialists. EDAP has reduced the wait time for diagnostic testing from an average of 4-6 months to 15 days (from referral to EDAP to completion of testing); average time from referral to EDAP to decision to treatment is 30 days


Honourable Mention for Innovation

QuickStart Program: Same-day radiotherapy for early-stage breast cancer
Princess Margaret Cancer Centre
Dr. Anthony Fyles, Ms. Grace Lee and Dr. Thomas Purdie


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Background

Whole breast radiation therapy (RT) is a standard treatment option for women with breast cancer following breast conserving surgery. On an annual basis, this treatment accounts for more than 60 per cent of all breast cancer patients treated at the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre. With increasing rates of breast cancer and greater use of advanced, yet time-consuming planning methods, the hospital needed an innovative, efficient approach to treat patients and prevent delays

Solution

Implemented in January 2010, the QuickStart program at the Princess Margaret Radiation Medicine Program (RMP) is a unique program that provides a safe and efficient means of RT treatment for early-stage breast cancer patients.

Results

The QuickStart program brings together technological advances in software with clinical expertise to expedite scans, treatment planning and delivery of the first treatment, all within one day. It is now a standard treatment option offered to women with early-stage breast cancer.

In women requiring whole breast RT post-lumpectomy, a delay of 8 weeks or longer in the commencement of RT was associated a higher risk of local recurrence.  For patients who experienced delays in their cancer journey prior to RT, having an expedited RT treatment process avoids potential negative impacts to their treatment outcomes.  The QuickStart program offers breast patients the same quality and effective RT treatment without the unnecessary waits.  Following their consultation with the radiation oncologist, patients are booked for RT within 2 days for the QuickStart process, which allows them to commence their treatment on the same day.