Patient-centered wait time measurement in Ontario. Conference Paper uri icon

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  • 233 Background: Since 2005, a concerted effort to measure and manage access to chemotherapy services in Ontario has resulted in a significant reduction in several specific wait time intervals (referral for medical oncology consultation and medical oncology consultation to first treatment). To identify other opportunities to improve access, a comprehensive analysis of the all-inclusive wait times from cancer diagnosis to the start of adjuvant chemotherapy for patients with early stage colon, breast, and lung cancer (patient centered wait time) has been undertaken. Methods: The study cohort comprised all Ontario patients who received adjuvant chemotherapy in 2009 for early stage colon, breast, and lung cancers. The Ontario Cancer Registry, linked to several administrative healthcare databases in Ontario, was used to identify the cohort and variables of interest. Wait time from diagnosis of cancer to the initiation of adjuvant chemotherapy was measured and separated into segments based on the dates of diagnosis (D), surgery (S), referral to medical oncology (R), medical oncology consultation (C), and first adjuvant chemotherapy treatment (T), and each was analyzed for variation at a regional and institutional level. The times from surgery to pathology sign-out (TTPR) and for peripherally inserted central catheter (PICC) acquisition were also studied in a subset of cases. Results: In 2009, 86% of patients with stage III colon cancer, 80% of patients with stage I to III breast cancer and 63% of patients with stage II lung cancer who received adjuvant chemotherapy started their treatment within 120 days of diagnosis. There was significantly better performance and less regional variation for colon cancer patients (82-93%) than for breast cancer patients (63-90%). For the whole cohort of breast cancer patients, the median total time from diagnosis to adjuvant chemotherapy was 81 days with the following segmental breakdown D-S (30 days), S-R (19 days), R-C (16 days), and C-T (16 days). The mean TTPR for colon cancer patients was 11.6 days and PICC insertion was < 7 days in 92% of patients. Conclusions: A number of opportunities for process improvement were identified, including shortening the pathology reporting interval and the timing for initiating referral to a medical oncologist.


  • Kaizer, Leonard
  • Krzyzanowska, Monika Karolina
  • Hertz, Sherrie
  • Srigley, John
  • Dobranowski, Julian
  • Irish, Jonathan
  • Warde, Padraig Richard
  • Gao, Julia

publication date

  • December 1, 2012