Partnerships for Efficient Cancer Care-Who can do what?
By- Lucinda Cash-Gibson (Young Gasteiner) and Debora Silves Ferreira (Comunidade Medica de Lingua Portuguesa)
” A € spent on inefficient health care, is a € that cannot be spent on efficient health care” – Vivek Muthu (Session moderate and Member of All.Can) stated at the beginning of the session with the topic of making cancer care more efficient, referring to the smart usage of the existing financial resources available.
The member of The International Brain Tumour Alliance & All.Can, Kathy Oliver, shared her personal experiences as a caregiver, and presented a number of findings from cancer patients’ perspectives on waste and inefficiencies in cancer care. These included delays and waste of time, poor communication and limited information, overuse, underuse and inappropriate treatments and care, disconnect between patients’ needs and care given, fragmentation of care and lack of follow-up, inadequate consideration of the issue of health literacy, insufficient use of data to inform and improve care.
Ms Oliver also presented examples of achievable low-cost solutions to improve cancer treatment and care. Using the example of a hospital in Paris, where the nurses follow-up patients via phone calls a few days before the chemotherapy session, to ask about the latest side effects, and adjust the treatment plans accordingly, Ms Oliver showed ways of improvement. Namely, the Parisian case resulted in 50% reduction in treatment delays, more patients were treated per day, patients reported less pain and fatigue, and fewer drugs were wasted.
There are several multi-stakeholders and multi-sectoral partners within cancer care – patients, carers, civil society, health professionals, academia, policy-makers, as well as biomedical and digital provider industries, with different roles to play, that need to be optimised. In order to consider all of these diverse perspectives (as listed above), the participants broke out into groups and each took on their respective role in order to to answer the following questions: 1) What can each stakeholder group do to improve efficiency/outcomes?; 2) What are some of the barriers to achieving these efficiency/outcomes?; 3) What does each group need from the others to health achieve this?
A number of solutions were discussed to address the barriers across the entire care consortium, as well as outside of health service delivery – such as new financial reimbursements schemes, multi-disciplinary training, working and leadership, and health literacy – in addition to increased inclusion of civil society (due to its powerful role in ensuring the patient voice is heard), more Research and Development (R&D), quality data and information availability, with the support of biomedical and digital technology.
These points were further elaborated on by an expert panel composed by each stakeholder that collectively advocated for the need to foster inclusive partnerships to facilitate multi-partner discussions, in order to create innovative, efficient, people-centred solutions.
Findings from today’s session will feed into the All.Can research and policy engagement plans for 2017-18.
This Blog was written by the Young Gasteiners Lucinda Cash-Gibson and Deborah Silves Ferreira