System Performance Initiative

System Performance Initiative

The Partnership’s second five-year mandate and the next phase of implementing Canada’s national cancer strategy began in April 2012. The priorities and initiatives for 2012-2017 are outlined in our strategic plan, Sustaining Action Toward a Shared Vision and in the Priorities section of our website. The information below reflects work to the end of March 2012.  

Informing changes in the cancer system to drive improvement

Evidence-based planning, management and policy development has — for some time now — been the standard for advancing health-care systems in Canada. While each province and territory is responsible for planning and funding cancer service delivery within its jurisdiction, national collaboration promotes the sharing of best practices, which in turn allows significant advances in quality across the country. For interprovincial system performance comparisons to be meaningful, a co-ordinated strategy is required to ensure standardized definitions, methodologies and interpretations.

Optimizing the cancer control system for Canadians is at the heart of the Partnership’s work. But unless it is clear how well the cancer control system is performing, it is difficult for cancer agencies or other partners to know where to focus any improvement efforts. In response to this challenge, the Partnership developed the System Performance Initiative, a pan-Canadian approach to reporting on performance across the cancer control continuum.

The System Performance Initiative is a collaboration among the Partnership and the provincial cancer agencies. The initiative collects data from many sources, including provincial registries, provincial cancer partners and Statistics Canada. It brings together existing cancer-related data from across the country and makes this information available as a baseline for measuring progress. Overall, it will help shape the planning and delivery of the entire cancer control system, from prevention, screening and diagnosis to treatment, supportive care and survivorship.

Through the System Performance Initiative, the Partnership has undertaken a national approach to reporting on the needs and performance of the cancer control system in Canada. This collaborative work is based on sharing information, comparing practices and evaluating outcomes from across the country and around the world.

Results for 2011/12:

  • In March 2012, the Partnership completed an evaluation of the 2010 and 2011 system performance reports to explore how performance indicators influence provincial decision-making. Provinces are actively engaged and have indicated their commitment to collaborating on the development of efficiency indicators for use within jurisdictions.
  • In December 2011, the Partnership released the 2011 Cancer System Performance Report. The document builds on the first two reports (published in 2009 and 2010) by updating a number of indicators with more recent data and introducing several new indicators for prevention, screening, treatment and long-term outcomes. Because this is the third such report, the availability of additional years of data makes it possible to begin to identify trends for several of the indicators, particularly in treatment.
  • In July 2011, the Partnership produced Lung Cancer in Canada: A Supplemental System Performance Report. This is the first report of its kind and includes a comprehensive, pan-Canadian approach to reporting on needs and performance across the cancer system. The report examines patterns in research, treatment, diagnosis, risk factors, burden of illness and future directions.

For more information on this initiative’s results leading up to 2012 and how the work supports the overall cancer control strategy, please read Key Achievements 2007-2012 and see our annual reports and progress reports