Is ‘care-density’ key to improving care coordination for BC’s young cancer survivors?

Date posted: 
Wednesday, April 11, 2018

The coordination of long-term, follow-up care for young cancer survivors is critical to providing continuing care that is both effective for the survivor, and efficient for the health care system.

Data access has been approved for a study which will use a novel method, called “care density”, to measure care sharing among different physician providers. The study will utilize linked administrative and clinical datasets from The Childhood, Adolescent and Young Adult Cancer Survivors (CAYACS) Research Program, led by Mary McBride, Distinguished Scientist at BC Cancer, and Clinical Professor at the School of Population and Public Health (SPPH) at the University of British Columbia.

“Coordination of care among multiple health care providers minimizes patient and provider confusion about conflicting care plans, wasteful duplication of test procedures and drug prescriptions, and risks due to incompatible health care delivery from multiple providers, “ says PhD student K. Julia Kaal, who is carrying out the research as part of her doctoral studies at SPPH. 

Analyzing the network of relationships among providers involved in the care of childhood, adolescent, and young adult cancer survivors should identify survivor subgroups at risk for poor care coordination. This will inform interventions to improve care coordination between providers who share relatively few patients to improve quality of care and reduce costs.

“There is also potential to help direct patients towards providers who share a larger number of patients if appropriate and feasible,” continues Ms Kaal. “This may be particularly important for this patient group, as survivors usually represent a small fraction of patients in adult primary care practices, where most long-term follow-up care takes place. Identifying physician networks that share in the care of many of these patients may help increase the quality of follow-up care for this population, as volume of procedures has been known to increase quality of care.”

This work has relevance on a clinical level for survivor care as well as on a health services and policy level as provider networks may be key factors influencing cost and quality of care for this population.

PopData will link data from BC Cancer, the BC Ministry of Health, and BC Children’s Hospital for the project.

Page last revised: April 11, 2018