Malignant spinal cord compression project

Patient information project

NEMICS audit data identified late presentation with malignant spinal cord compression (MSCC) across our public health services.  International guidelines recommend providing 'at risk' patients with written information about MSCC signs and symptoms to enable rapid access to treatment.​   In response NEMICS consumers and health professionals created a patient information booklet.

Booklet pilot

Prostate Cancer Specialists at Eastern Health piloted the booklet for three months and were surveyed at pilot conclusion. Survey results indicated that the specialists believed it appropriate to provide this type of written information to ‘at risk’ patients in outpatient settings.  Planning is underway to improve to access this type of information for targeted patients.

Eastern Palliative Care Service (EPC) will complete a 6 month pilot of the booklet on December 16th.  They have embedded booklet provision within care plans for clients who are at high risk of developing spinal cord compression. The evaluation report will be posted here in early 2016.

Pathways to surgery

Work is continuing at Austin Health to gain approval to pilot an enhanced referral pathway that aims to improve access to surgery for patients who present to Eastern Health and Northern Health with malignant spinal cord compression.

For more information, contact:
Paula Howell
Service Improvement Facilitator
Ph 9496 9968

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