Optimising community service use with ePRO-based screening during routine Radiation Oncology care

A Northern Sydney Cancer Centre and Canteen Collaboration
Presented at Sydney Cancer Conference 2021

Dr Thilo Schuler, Ms Claire King, A/Prof Michael Back, Ms Tamara Doria, Ms Paula Macleod, A/Prof Pandora Patterson, Prof Thomas Eade


Community services in cancer care are:

πŸ‘ important, but
😞 underutilised

Reasons include:

⏱️ Time constraints of clinical reality
πŸ“‰ Quickly waning effect of traditional referrer info campaigns
🀷 Insufficient knowledge β†’ no/unconvincing recommendation to patient

Aim & Methods

Systematic and sustainable referral to Quitline and Canteen using an Implementation Science approach:
  • Screening via routine electronic patient-reported outcomes (ePRO) survey for all new patients
  • Added two extra questions regarding smoking status and age of children
  • Co-designed information and referral approach
  • Key role: Patient Care Radiation Therapist (PCRT) providing practical and emotional support incl service referral offer
  • Evaluation: Pre/Post analysis of referral rates and clinical staff survey

Image Credit: WHO


**6 months ePRO screening** πŸ“± - Aug 2020 - Jan 2021 - Total 568 new patients seen - Screening ePRO sent to 418 patients (74% coverage) - 329 (87%) responded
**Quitline referral** 🚭 - 24 (6.6%) smokers - 9 (38%) accepted referral - **Over 100% increase** vs whole NSLHD rates in 2018
**Canteen referral** πŸ‘¦πŸ½πŸ‘§πŸ» - 85 (23%) of cancer patients had children aged 0-25yrs - 18 (21%) accepted referral - Annualised **350% increase** vs 2018
**Clinical staff survey** πŸ‘‚ - Response rate 34 of 77 (44%) - 100% β†’ overall patient benefit - 97% β†’ emotional and/or professional comfort for clinicians

Conclusion & Future

Successful routine care translation πŸ’ͺ with benefits for patients πŸ€’ and cliniciansβš•οΈ

  • Systematic ePRO-based screening
  • Co-design strategy including PCRT training
  • Plans to apply this model more broadly (other services incl internal pathways)
Patients ↔ Services = ❀️