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The Ottawa Hospital Makes Steady Strides in Cancer Care

July 17, 2014 – As the hub for cancer care in the Champlain health region, The Ottawa Hospital excels in a number of areas related to the diagnosis and control of the disease, according to the 2014 Cancer System Quality Index, an annual scorecard of Ontario’s cancer-care program.

In breast-cancer detection, Champlain leads Ontario’s 14 health regions in providing timely and accurate assessments for women with abnormal mammograms.

The Hospital, working with its regional partners, also provides patients with timely and effective cancer surgery. Even as the overall volume of cancer cases continues to increase, more than eight out of 10 patients get their surgery within provincial wait-time targets. As a result, the Champlain region is now a top-five performer in getting patients to surgery on time. The region also ranks number one in getting gynecological cancer patients to surgery within target.

In the area of patient experience, Champlain ranks among the top three regions in the province. According to the scorecard, 63 per cent of all cancer patients expressed satisfaction with the care they received, compared with the provincial average of 59 per cent. As well, nine out of 10 cancer patients surveyed said their symptoms were well managed, which is a key indicator of patient satisfaction.

The region is also a top performer in end-of-life-care. Champlain has the highest share of cancer patients who receive a house call within the last four weeks of life and the lowest rate of cancer patients visiting the Emergency Department within the last two weeks of life. These results show that the Hospital works well with its regional partners to provide continuity of care for terminally-ill patients.

“We are proud of the achievements over the past year of The Ottawa Hospital and our regional partners,” says Paula Doering, The Ottawa Hospital’s Vice-President of Clinical Programs and Vice-President of the Champlain Regional Cancer Program. “They show that this region is able to provide the highest quality of care possible, even as the number of patients living with cancer continues to increase.”

Over 2013-14, as part of a commitment to continuously improving the quality and delivery of cancer care, TOH has focused on:

  • Reducing wait times for radiation therapy, which is now the third shortest in the province. As a result, nine out of 10 patients are now referred to a radiation oncologist within the two-week provincial target. And nearly nine out of 10 patients now get radiation therapy within provincial wait-time targets once they have seen an oncologist. The steady improvements have continued since December 2013, the cut-off period for this year’s CSQI.
  • Reducing wait times for breast-cancer surgery as the volume of patients continues to grow. As a result, our most up-to-date data, not captured within the reporting period of this year’s CSQI, show that more than nine out of 10 patients are now getting their surgery within provincial targets once they have seen a surgeon.

Cancer care has changed dramatically over the past decade. Surgeries have become less invasive, more services are being delivered on an outpatient basis and community care continues to expand. These advances are good news for patients. But they also represent an opportunity for TOH to rethink how it delivers services to provide high-quality care, while making every dollar count.

In the coming years, TOH will remain committed to driving down wait times for all cancer services. The Hospital will also place a greater focus on providing more coordinated care that respects the needs of our patients and their families. The goal is to improve their experience of care and quality of life before, during and after active treatment.

For the complete report, go to the 2014 Cancer System Quality Index

Media Contact:
Hazel Harding
Communications Advisor
The Ottawa Hospital
Tel.: 613-737-8460