Champlain Primary Care Digest

Home » Posts tagged 'ottawa hospital'

Tag Archives: ottawa hospital

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

Changes Ease the Difficult Journey for Lung Cancer Patients

Teams of cancer-care clinicians at The Ottawa Hospital have worked tirelessly in recent months to cut wait times for lung cancer diagnoses from as long as three months to two weeks – a move that not only helps reduce the stress on patients, but also can mean the difference between life and death given that lung cancer spreads so aggressively.

Lung cancer doctors at the The Ottawa Hospital

Dr. Michael Fung-Kee-Fung (back left) is leading the cancer-care program redesign, with the help of Drs. James Villeneuve (front left), Paul Wheatley-Price (front right) and Jason Pantarotto, aiming not only to serve patients better, but also to make better use of staff’s time, energy and efforts.

“The disease could get worse while our patients wait for care,” said Dr. James Villeneuve, a thoracic surgeon. “They are waiting too long and that’s unacceptable,” added Dr. Jason Pantarotto, Chief of Radiation Oncology.

Their effort is the first step in an ambitious plan to reorganize The Ottawa Hospital’s entire cancer-care program, making it less fragmented and more responsive to patients’ needs.

“We want to redesign the delivery of care around the patient to improve their outcomes and their experience,” said Dr. Michael Fung-Kee-Fung, Head of Surgical Oncology, who is leading the redesign. “This involves reorganizing all the health-care providers around the patient’s journey. Their common focus is to implement innovative practices, new therapies and new ideas for delivering care in more efficient and effective ways.”

Currently, every patient with suspicious changes in lung tissue must go through multiple tests to get a diagnosis. Each step – scan, biopsy and lab tests – has its own waiting list and maze of paperwork. By the time patients finally get a diagnosis and an appointment with a surgeon or oncologist, their treatment options are often limited.

Dr. Fung-Kee-Fung’s redesign team, along with dozens of managers and cancer-care colleagues, have tackled the long waits by mapping out every step in the long, roundabout route to diagnosis. They set aggressive turnaround times at every stage, while stamping out inefficiencies. The result is a simpler way to handle lung assessments that ensures that patients’ files are handed from clinic to diagnostics to the most appropriate specialist as quickly and seamlessly as possible.

Reprinted with permission from The Ottawa Hospital