Quality and Innovation in Cancer Care Recognized at Awards

TORONTO, Nov. 21, 2013 /CNW/ - Yesterday the Cancer Quality Council of Ontario recognized outstanding achievement in cancer care by handing out the Quality and Innovation Awards in Toronto.

The Quality and Innovation Awards are an annual event sponsored by the Cancer Quality Council of Ontario (CQCO), Cancer Care Ontario (CCO) and the Canadian Cancer Society, Ontario Division. Now in its eighth year, the awards honour the development of new approaches, processes, products, or programs that enhance and improve cancer care delivery in Ontario. Programs or organizations awarded for quality and innovation have demonstrated a significant impact on stakeholders, the patient experience, cost effectiveness and sustainability for the cancer system.

"Each year, the Quality and Innovation Awards encourage and recognize organizations or programs that have made significant improvements for the delivery of quality care across the province and sparked innovation resulting in better care for cancer patients. This year is no exception," said Virginia McLaughlin, Chair of CQCO. "This year's award winners and honourable mentions initiated programs that strengthen the delivery of exceptional care and hold tremendous promise for helping improve health outcomes."

"Ontario has one of the best cancer systems in the world, thanks in no small part to the work of the programs and organizations honoured by the Quality and Innovation Awards," said Deb Matthews, Minister of Health and Long-Term Care. "I want to thank all of this year's honourees for their tremendous work and contribution to innovation and quality when it comes to caring for cancer patients."

"Improving quality and driving innovation are what happens when dedicated individuals join forces to address significant challenges," said Michael Sherar, President and CEO, CCO. "The Quality and Innovation Awards recognize exemplary programs that advance the cancer system. It is these types of innovative initiatives that lead to better quality care, which in turn have a direct and powerful impact on the lives of patients, families and communities across Ontario."

"Through our work of supporting those living with cancer, we know how important the delivery of quality care is to patients and their families," said Martin Kabat, CEO, Canadian Cancer Society, Ontario Division. "That's why the Canadian Cancer Society proudly supports the Quality and Innovation Awards and we commend this year's recipients for their innovative work to improve the quality of life of people touched by cancer."

The 2013 CQCO Quality and Innovation Award Recipients:

  • Princess Margaret Cancer Centre received the Quality Award for the implementation of a Medication Reimbursement Specialist who helps patients navigate through public and private drug insurance procedures for financial reimbursement of costly medication received outside of hospital. The system of reimbursement for drug costs can be complex, frustrating and time-consuming for patients, caregivers and healthcare providers. Assistance with securing funds for the medications also means the start of treatment can begin earlier. Total drug costs avoided for patients was over $2 million, averaging over $3,700 per patient.

  • The Ottawa Hospital received the Innovation Award for the Ottawa Cardiac Oncology Program (OCOP) for their multidisciplinary team consisting of medical oncology, cardiology and pharmacy for patients undergoing cancer treatment and possible complications such as heart damage. Established in 2008, OCOP was the first program of its kind in Canada. OCOP provides patients with an integrated approach to cancer therapy, with seamless communication between healthcare providers from several medical specialties and timely access to medical assessment and treatment services, having an impact on quality of care post-treatment.

  • St. Joseph's Healthcare Hamilton and HNHB LHIN garnered a Quality Award Honourable Mention for the development of their Esophageal Diagnostic Assessment Program (EDAP), which identifies patients requiring 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. The EDAP has reduced the wait time for diagnostic testing from an average of 4-6 months to 15 days. Now, average time from EDAP referral to decision to treatment is 30 days.

  • Princess Margaret Cancer Centre obtained the Innovation Award Honourable Mention for its QuickStart Program which provides same-day radiotherapy for early-stage breast cancer. Implemented in 2010, the QuickStart initiative brings together technological advances in software with clinical expertise to expedite scans, treatment planning and delivery of the first treatment, all within one day. The QuickStart program is now a standard treatment option offered to women with early-stage breast cancer.

This year's awards celebration was made possible in part by a financial contribution from the Canadian Cancer Society, Ontario Division.

Backgrounder

About the Cancer Quality Council of Ontario
The Cancer Quality Council of Ontario (www.cqco.ca) is an arm's length advisory group that advises Cancer Care Ontario and the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care in their efforts to improve the quality of cancer care in the province. The Council also monitors and publicly reports on the performance of the cancer system annually via the Cancer System Quality Index www.csqi.on.ca and provides international comparisons and benchmarking to allow Ontario to learn from other jurisdictions.

Version française

SOURCE: Cancer Quality Council of Ontario

For further information:

Alayna Brown
Cancer Care Ontario
Email: Media@cancercare.on.ca
Phone: 1-855-460-2646

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Cancer Quality Council of Ontario

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