Each year, the Cancer Quality Council of Ontario releases its Cancer System Quality Index (CSQI), which acts as a report card for the regional centres. While this year’s report measures many areas of performance, the key themes are patient and public safety and breast cancer.
The report shows the cancer system is successful in ensuring Ontarians are receiving care based on the best available evidence and scientific knowledge. Results for the North Simcoe-Muskoka region show colorectal-cancer screening participation for people ages 50 to 74 is better than the rest of the province, but the percentage of women ages 50 to 72 having a mammogram within 30 months of their previous breast screening is lower than the rest of the province.
“This report is tremendously helpful in determining how our cancer program is performing and identifying what we do well and areas for improvement,” Lindsey Crawford, RVH vice-president of patient programs and regional vice-president of Cancer Care Ontario, stated in a release.
The cancer centre at RVH, which opened in 2012, logged 100,000 visits in the past year and continues to look for ways to improve quality and access to care. Innovative partnerships, such as the thoracic clinic with Toronto East General Hospital, allow for streamlined access to care for area lung-cancer patients. The Simcoe Muskoka Regional Cancer Program is also developing a robust women’s cancer program to treat gynecological cancers, a service not currently available in the region.
Patient safety and improving the patient experience are also top priorities for the regional cancer program. The cancer centre at RVH houses Canada’s first robotic intravenous automation system for the safe preparation of chemotherapy treatments and patients who do not want to travel for their treatment can stay at Rotary House, an on-site lodge for cancer patients.
The 2014 CSQI reports on 33 indicators spanning the cancer journey, from screening to end-of-life care and survivorship, along with several measures related to cancer prevention. Visit csqi.on.ca to review all the indicators and this year’s interactive report.
This article appeared in Orillia Packet.