Documenting coordination of cancer care between primary care providers and oncology specialists in Canada. Journal Articles uri icon

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  • OBJECTIVE: To report on the findings of the CanIMPACT (Canadian Team to Improve Community-Based Cancer Care along the Continuum) Casebook project, which systematically documented Canadian initiatives (ie, programs and projects) designed to improve or support coordination and continuity of cancer care between primary care providers (PCPs) and oncology specialists. DESIGN: Pan-Canadian environmental scan. SETTING: Canada. PARTICIPANTS: Individuals representing the various initiatives provided data for the analysis. METHODS: Initiatives included in the Casebook met the following criteria: they supported coordination and collaboration between PCPs and oncology specialists; they were related to diagnosis, treatment, survivorship, or personalized medicine; and they included breast or colorectal cancer or both. Data were collected on forms that were compiled into summaries (ie, profiles) for each initiative. Casebook initiatives were organized based on the targeted stage of the cancer care continuum, jurisdiction, and strategy (ie, model of care or type of intervention) employed. Thematic analysis identified similarities and differences among employed strategies, the level of primary care engagement, implementation barriers and facilitators, and initiative evaluation. MAIN FINDINGS: The CanIMPACT Casebook profiles 24 initiatives. Eleven initiatives targeted the survivorship stage of the cancer care continuum and 15 focused specifically on breast or colorectal cancer or both. Initiative teams implemented the following strategies: nurse patient navigation, multidisciplinary care teams, electronic communication or information systems, PCP education, and multicomponent initiatives. Initiatives engaged PCPs at various levels. Implementation barriers included lack of care standardization across jurisdictions and incompatibility among electronic communication systems. Implementation facilitators included having clinical and program leaders publicly support the initiative, repurposing existing resources, receiving financial support, and establishing a motivated and skilled project or program team. The lack of evaluative data made it difficult to identify the most effective interventions or models of care. CONCLUSION: The CanIMPACT Casebook documents Canadian efforts to improve or support the coordination of cancer care by PCPs and oncology specialists as a means to improve patient outcomes and cancer system performance.


  • Brouwers, Melissa Christine
  • Vukmirovic, Marija
  • Tomasone, Jennifer R
  • Grunfeld, Eva
  • Urquhart, Robin
  • O'Brien, Mary Ann
  • Walker, Melanie
  • Webster, Fiona
  • Fitch, Margaret

publication date

  • October 2016