Brockville General Hospital is number one in Ontario for pathology post-surgical report turnaround time relating to colorectal cancer.
Pathology post-surgical report turnaround time reflects the period of time between the collection of a specimen during surgery to the reporting of results that enable treatment decisions.
The measure is one of many monitored by Cancer Care Ontario (CCO) as a way of encouraging safe, high-quality cancer care across the province. Evidence shows that the time between surgery and active treatment can affect outcomes for cancer patients.
“Pathology can be a complex and multi-step process,” says Dr. Naguib Yassa, the sole Pathologist at Brockville General Hospital. “From the time the tissue is retrieved to analysis to the transcription of results, a delay at any stage can affect treatment and outcomes.”
Hospitals are expected to report results for 90 per cent of surgical specimens within 14 days of collection. Dr. Yassa credits Brockville General Hospital’s success in consistently exceeding this target to a talented team, good communication amongst staff, and a culture of patient-centred quality improvement.
“Monthly audits of quality have helped the team work closely with lab management and hospital administration to optimize lab technology and staffing,” says Dr. Yassa. “More importantly, we try to help our staff really understand how their work impacts patients. It’s essential for us to see our role beyond the lab, as important members of the care team.”
“These targets are not set to be easy,” says Dr. Sandy Boag, Regional Lead for Pathology for the South East Regional Cancer Program. “They are meant to be ambitious, but achievable by at least half of the hospitals in Ontario, and require significant improvement on the part of most regions. Brockville General Hospital’s performance is an impressive example of excellence that we can all learn from.”
Kingston General Hospital came in as the most improved in Ontario for the measure, with Kingston General Hospital, Brockville General Hospital and Quinte Healthcare Corporation all meeting the target.
Moving into 2014, CCO has expanded its monitoring to include post-surgical pathology report turnaround time for all cancers.