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Thoracic Surgeon Working to Improve Patient Wait Times

Dr. James VilleneuveMany Cancer Centre physicians, nurses and other health care professionals have been working hard to improve the patient experience at The Ottawa Hospital. Dr. James Villeneuve, Thoracic Surgeon, is one of these people.

Patients are waiting 10 days fewer to find out if they have lung cancer, just by having a thoracic surgeon, radiologist and nurse sit side by side every morning, reviewing every new patient’s chart. Given that patients can wait up to 90 days, this single leap forward has made the intake and triage of lung-cancer patients significantly faster and more efficient. Before, each patient’s file was shuffled along multiple waiting lists.

“It saves a lot of time when decisions can be made at one stop, around one table of specialists from various disciplines, rather than having every new case passed along to a different specialist at various points in time,” said Dr. Villeneuve, one of dozens of staff at the Ages Cancer Assessment Clinic driving this effort.

“In the past, we were two solitudes. The radiologists and surgeons worked independently of each other without considering what was best for our patients. This is much better for our patients. They get a diagnosis much faster, which helps to ease some of their stress and anxiety.”

Reprinted with permission from The Ottawa Hospital

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