Niagara Health System’s new Prostate Diagnostic Assessment Clinic is designed to improve quality of care and reduce wait times for men with a suspicion of prostate cancer.
The clinic, the first of its kind in Niagara, is modelled on Cancer Care Ontario’s Diagnostic Assessment organizational standards. The clinic improves quality by following standardized, evidence-based diagnostic protocols, enhancing coordination of care, improving communication among patients, families and their healthcare providers and by reducing wait times for test results and consultation.
Dr. Ian Brown, the clinic’s lead urologist, says the goal is to have a consultation and any needed diagnostic procedures completed quickly to lessen the worry that comes with waiting.
“This whole process is built around enhancing the patient journey, making them part of the team,” says Dr. Brown, one of several Niagara urologists who provides care at the prostate clinic on a rotating basis. “All men, and their families if they wish, when diagnosed with prostate cancer will have access to a large collection of education and resources, as well as the option of support from the Niagara Prostate Cancer Support Group. Everybody will have a multidisciplinary visit with the experts who treat prostate cancer, including a urologist and radiation oncologist, for discussion and recommendations on the most up to date treatment options.”
The clinic operates Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays in the fourth-floor clinic of the Walker Family Cancer Centre at the St. Catharines Site.
“The Prostate Cancer Diagnostic Assessment Program is a great addition to healthcare in Niagara and illustrates the patient-centred focus of the Niagara Health System,” says Trudy Street, Manager of Clinical Services at the Walker Family Cancer Centre. “This new approach will result in the best possible plan of care for each individual patient.”
Dr. Tom Stewart, Niagara Health System’s Chief of Staff and Executive Vice-President Medical, applauds the collaborative approach to develop the Prostate Cancer Diagnostic Assessment Clinic.
“The creation of this clinic is a great example of the benefits of working together to provide high-quality, patient-centred healthcare. I want to thank everyone involved for spearheading this initiative, from members of our Oncology department to Niagara urologists and all other members of our multidisciplinary team. This partnership demonstrates the importance of bringing our collective knowledge and expertise together to provide our patients and families with the best possible healthcare. I would also like to acknowledge the strong leadership of Dr. Dianne Heritz, Regional Head of the Urology Service, and Dr. Janice Giesbrecht, Chief of Oncology.”
GOALS OF THE PROSTATE DIAGNOSTIC CLINIC
• Improve coordination of care.
• Decrease wait times for a diagnosis.
• Optimize the patient experience.
• Minimize disease progression where possible.
PROSTATE CANCER FACTS
• Prostate cancer represents 30 percent of new cancers in men.
• The “at risk” population is men over the age of 50.
• About 240 men in Niagara are diagnosed with prostate cancer each year.
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