A Blueprint for Optimizing Lung Cancer Care for Better Patient Outcomes

The Conference Board of Canada, 25 pages, January 14, 2021
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This impact paper examines the optimized approach for the diagnosis and molecular testing of lung cancer developed by the Quebec Heart and Lung Institute—the Institut universitaire de cardiologie et de pneumologie de Québec–Université Laval (IUCPQ-UL).

Document Highlights

  • To improve patient access to life-saving lung cancer treatment, IUCPQ-UL has developed standardized processes to reduce the time from referral to treatment to 26 days.
  • Pathology plays a pivotal role in the lung cancer care pathway, enabling fast diagnosis and biomarker testing with an average turnaround time of 2.6 days and minimal tissue inefficiency rates—all with 36 per cent lower overall pathology costs than in non-specialized centres.
  • The key factors enabling these efficiencies include the high level of specialized expertise in a small hospital; close interactions between an interdisciplinary team of respirologist-oncologists, pathologists, surgeons, radiologists, and nurses; and standardized protocols and homogenous practices for optimal pathology processing.
  • The IUCPQ-UL approach can serve as a blueprint for a health care infrastructure and inform other jurisdictions interested in adopting this approach to support timely and optimal treatment in their regions.

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