Research profile: Increased awareness and use of Optimal Care Pathways by General Practices

Tuesday 13 March, 2018

The Implementing PAthways for Cancer Early Diagnosis (I-PACED) project was designed to educate staff in GP practices about critical primary care points along the colorectal and lung cancer OCPs and the optimal clinical care that should be offered in the primary care setting. Over a 14 month period, Cancer Council Victoria’s specialist oncology nurses visited 317 North Western Melbourne GP practices, providing education to over 1000 health professionals.

Pre and post visit surveys show improved awareness of, confidence in, and current use of the OCPs. Self-reported awareness of specific practice recommendations within the OCPs increased by 40% for colorectal cancer and 27% for lung cancer. Confidence in clinical practice improved across all clinical areas and was accompanied by increased referrals to Quitline and Cancer Council Victoria 13 11 20 for support services.

A database of barriers and suggestions for improvement was collated as part of this project to capture experiences of GPs and practice staff in implementing the care recommendations in the lung and colorectal OCPs. Issues commonly reported related to lack of timely access, transparency of waiting lists for procedures and treatments and inequity of costs to patients. The implementation of a standard referral form and the related processes between acute and primary care was a suggested improvement to enhance systems level efficiency and sustainability to assist GPs to provide cancer care.

I-PACED project is a collaborative partnership between Cancer Council Victoria, University of Melbourne and Department of Health and Human Services Victoria (DHHS), with DHHS as project funders.

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