Improvements in cancer care continue to be made in the Hamilton Niagara Haldimand Brant Regional Cancer Program, according to the annual Cancer System Quality Index (CSQI) report released today by the Cancer Quality Council of Ontario.
Cancer System Quality Index Shows Ongoing Progress
The annual CSQI information provides performance measurements in a variety of cancer care areas.
“I am pleased to see that the Hamilton Niagara Haldimand Brant Regional Cancer program has progressed in a number of areas. However, it also shows us that we need to continue our efforts in those areas where the measurements indicate that there are opportunities to do better,” said Dr. Bill Evans, President of the Juravinski Hospital and Cancer Centre and Regional Vice-President, Cancer Care Ontario.
The 2013 report shows a strong performance in many areas, including:
- lower numbers of patients requiring return visits to hospital during breast and prostate chemotherapy treatments;
- improved symptom assessment;
- screening mammogram participation rates;
- wait times from diagnosis to chemotherapy.
“We are doing well overall,” said Dr. Evans. “Our regional cancer program is performing at or above average in many areas.
“However, there continue to be many challenges in this region.”
The report shows that the five-year survival rates for breast and lung cancers are amongst the worst in the province.
“The story is much more complicated than mere figures,” said Dr. Evans. “Part of the story is ensuring equal access to diagnostic and treatment services across our region. We are looking at ways to make that better.
“Another issue is the complex nature of some of our patients, where more than one medical and socio-economic factor may be affecting their health and, ultimately, the survival rate.”
Regional Cancer Programs across Ontario are implementing integrated oncology information systems to link the various community centres providing cancer care services within their regions. The HNHB LHIN is in the midst of such an implementation involving four sites and, although the quality of clinical care has not been affected, the transition to the new data system has impacted its ability to provide all of the data required for the SCQI 2013 for today’s public release. It is anticipated that standardized high quality data will be available within the next several months and complete and accurate data will be available for future CSQI releases.
The CSQI is a web-based public reporting tool that serves as a cancer system monitor that enables Cancer Quality Council of Ontario (CQCO) to track the quality and consistency of all key cancer services delivered across Ontario's cancer system, from prevention through to end-of-life care. It is one of the most comprehensive reports of its kind in the world in terms of its breadth of measurement, jurisdictional comparisons and international benchmarks.
The 2013 CSQI measures many indicators. Please visit www.csqi.on.ca to view all the indicators and this year’s full report.
For more information or to arrange an interview, please contact:
Sr. Public Relations Specialist
Hamilton Health Sciences
905-521-2100 ext. 76056
Niagara Health System
905-378-4647 ext. 46542 or 905-246-1449