Cancer patients rely on good coordination of care between their primary healthcare providers and their cancer specialists throughout their cancer journey from diagnosis to survivorship. However, there are often problems of communication, continuity, and coordination of care that can lead to suboptimal care and anxiety for patients and their families, as well as inefficiency within the healthcare system. We are a pan-Canadian team of healthcare providers, researchers, and policy makers who are committed to improving care for cancer patients. We are also engaging patients and their families through a Patient Advisory Committee. We are tackling the problems of continuity and coordination of care through a program of research involving an interrelated sequence of research steps.
- First, we are comprehensively studying the factors associated with poor continuity and coordination of care in seven provinces (British Columbia, Alberta, Manitoba, Quebec, Ontario, New Brunswick, and Nova Scotia).
- Second, we are listening to the perspectives of patients and their families on these aspects of their cancer journey.
- Third, we are examining the existing medical literature as well as examples of best practices across Canada.
Based on what we learn from these steps, we will develop an approach to help healthcare providers, cancer specialists, and patients and their families to work together to improve continuity and coordination of care throughout the cancer journey. At the conclusion of this program of research we will make clear and actionable recommendations on how to improve care for cancer patients and efficiency within the healthcare system.