HAMILTON’S CANCER CARE
The Good Percentage of treatment courses peer reviewed by radiation oncologists in 2015/2016 LHIN: 72 (up from 46 the year before) Ontario: 77 Target: 75 The goal of peer review is to “narrow the differences” in treatment between radiation oncologists by having more than one doctor weigh in, says Dr. Ralph Meyer, CEO of the Juravinski Hospital and Cancer Centre. “It generates excellent discussions … doctors are accountable for it and you improve the quality.” Percentage of breast cancer patients who had unplanned hospital visits during chemotherapy from 2010 to 2014. LHIN: 32 Ontario: 46 “This is the metric about safety,” said Meyer, explaining that the fewer unplanned hospital visits the better. The LHIN scored well in a number of different cancers for surgery and chemotherapy. The Bad Percentage of lung cancer patients diagnosed within 28 days of referral in 2016. LHIN: 55 Ontario: 61 Target: 65 “We have a very large program,” said Meyer. This area has “more patients than a lot of other regions in the province.” Per cent of patients whose surgical procedure occurred within the access target in 2015/2016. LHIN: 79.4 Ontario: 87 Target: 90 “We’ve spent a lot of time on this,” said Meyer. This figure is driven by prostate, gynecological, head, neck and thyroid cancers. In the latter three, the issue was a shortage of doctors with one being recruited and starting this summer. When it comes to prostate cancer, men are choosing to wait to have their procedure done by the da Vinci Si Surgical Robotic System, which is a minimally invasive state of the art technology. Per cent of patients screened at least once per month for symptom severity in 2015/2016. LHIN: 40 Ontario: 61 Target: 70 Juravinski has long struggled with this target. Meyer says the issue is some doctors don’t believe the tool used to screen patients is effective so they monitor symptoms in other ways. The Debatable Per cent of patients with rectal cancer who received MRI or transrectal ultrasound in the six months prior to rectal cancer surgery from 2012 to 2016 LHIN: 78 Ontario: 92 “This marker has debate associated with it,” said Meyer. He explains that some area doctors are not convinced of the benefits. Per cent of referred cancer patients seen within 14 days for registered dietician services in 2015/2016 LHIN: 76 Ontario: 82 Target: 85 Head, neck, esophageal and gastrointestinal cancer patients have a higher need for nutritional services so Juravinski gives them priority and more resources. It means patients with other cancers wait longer. Per cent of cancer patients given radiation treatment in the course of their illness in 2015/2016 LHIN: 38 Ontario: 39 Target: 48 “We don’t really know what the target should be,” said Meyer.