Victorian Patient Management Framework: Achievements and future directions (#213)
The Victorian Cancer Services Framework (2003) recommended establishing tumour streams to reduce variations in care. In response, the Department of Health published fifteen tumour specific Patient Management Frameworks (PMFs) which aim to improve cancer outcomes by facilitating consistent evidenced based across the state. In addition, eight Integrated Cancer Services (ICS) were established in metropolitan and regional Victoria to improve care coordination at the local level.
A survey of the ICS conducted in 2008, found that they predominately used the PMFs to support the delivery of quality and service improvements. Of the 41 respondents, 76% used the PMFs to map and audit existing cancer services; 73% to develop educational materials promoting the cancer reform agenda; and 51% for benchmarking activities. The PMFs have also been used to inform the development of local referral and care pathways.
Since the PMFs were released in 2006, additional policies supporting the implementation of coordinated, multidisciplinary and supportive care have been published by the Department of Health. As the ICS have already made significant advances in these areas, it is timely to update the PMFs so that they continue to support quality improvements into the future. In 2012, the Department funded the Cancer Council Victoria to undertake this review. The objectives being to update the PMFs so that they reflect current evidence and practice; identify areas in which they could be improved; and to develop a consumer version of the framework to assist patients, families and carers navigate the care pathway.
A new template for the PMFs and corresponding consumer version have been developed based on a review of the literature and input from stakeholders. Both templates will be trialled using lung and colorectal cancer as test cases. Expert working groups have been established to conduct the review and drafts will be circulated for public comment in early November 2013.