Coordinated cancer care
Victoria is committed to developing a ‘whole of system’ approach to cancer care coordination. This involves redesigning systems of care to foster and support relationships between health services, health care providers and patients to ensure continuity of care for cancer patients.
Care coordination refers to a “comprehensive approach to achieving continuity of care for patients... that aims to ensure that care is delivered in a logical, connected and timely manner, so that the medical and personal needs of patients are met” (Victorian Department of Human Services, 2007).
A care coordination approach needs to take into consideration the whole of the health system, so that patients have:
- Access to a range of services
- Dependable service providers who are part of a multidisciplinary team
- Services available to them when they need them
- Services flexible enough to meet their needs
For many people with cancer accessing care can involve multiple treatments, provided by multiple health professionals across a range of health services – public, private and primary/community care. This can also occur over a long period of time. Because of the complexity of the cancer system there are numerous benefits to focusing on and improving the coordination of care.
Work that NEMICS is doing in improving care coordination significantly overlaps with the other cancer reform priority areas such as supportive care and multidisciplinary care.
NEMICS approach to cancer care coordination
NEMICS coordinated care work has been founded on building relationships between the many providers of cancer-related care and in promoting partnerships between acute and primary care areas.
The NEMICS coordinated cancer care strategy (see related document) outlines the priorities and directions. The strategy relates to the Department of Health's Linking cancer care (2007), and has the three key strategic directions
- strengthening information sharing
- improving cancer service delivery
- building relationships