Establishing pan-Canadian benchmarking and data-driven quality improvement to cancer surgeries

A strategic priority of the Pan-Canadian action plan for optimizing cancer surgical care

There is a tremendous need for pan-Canadian integrated, systematic benchmarking and data-driven quality improvement across cancer surgeries.

Calls to action to improve cancer surgery

The Canadian Network of Surgical Associations for Cancer Care (CANSACC) will facilitate the identification of disease-specific indicators and benchmarks with relevant partners. Because pan-Canadian benchmarking and quality improvement is essential, and acknowledging the opportunity presented by the current federal health data strategy:

  • We call on all governments with a mandate to provide leadership in implementation of data-driven approaches to implement existing surgical standards and deliver best practice surgical care within a pan-Canadian context. This includes alignment of databases with a variety of synoptic registries (e.g., joint registry, organ registry).
  • We call on the Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI) to work collaboratively with jurisdictions to assist with data capture and management, including contemporary (within six months), stage-specific, treatment-level data to facilitate quality improvement, strategic planning and a responsive system. Pan-Canadian survival data suggests that the ability of the healthcare system to deliver early diagnosis and treatment for aggressive cancers drives overall survival. In addition, there should be a minimum data set to measure progress against surgical outcomes consistently across the country.
  • We call on regional health authorities and their hospitals, in collaboration with cancer programs and cancer surgeons, to collect disease-site-specific quality indicator data for audit, feedback and intervention, which should be coordinated with pan-Canadian efforts. This data should be distributed to key decision makers within months of collection.