PRINCIPLE 2: Safe and quality care

PRINCIPLE 2: Safe and quality care

Hospitals and health professionals are responsible for providing safe and quality care.

Health professionals need to have appropriate training and experience to undertake treatment for acute myeloid leukaemia. Patients should be referred to an individual practitioner or service with appropriate expertise.

Safe and high-quality care is care provided by appropriately trained and credentialed health professionals who undertake regular quality reviews of their performance, contribute to regular audits of their care and are actively involved in continuing professional development. Hospitals and clinics must have the equipment, staff numbers, policies and procedures in place to support safe and high-quality care for cancer patients. Patients should be offered the safest options for care, which may include using telehealth (Cancer Australia 2020).

Hospital quality committees should ensure all health care is informed by evidence, and health professionals and health service managers (including executives) have a responsibility to evaluate and monitor their practice. Optimal care pathways provide a framework to help evaluate and monitor practice over time. Services should be routinely collecting relevant minimum datasets to support benchmarking, quality care and service improvement. Hospital committees and health professional peak bodies should be auditing this process (ACSQHC 2017, 2020).

The Australian Council on Health Standards has created a set of indicators that helps hospitals conform to appropriate standards.

Patient-reported experience and outcome measures

Patient-reported experience measures (PREMs) and patient-reported outcome measures (PROMs) should be incorporated into routine cancer care.

PREMs are used to obtain patients’ views and observations on aspects of healthcare services they have received (AIHW 2018). Patient experience data is collected for specific services and then relayed to service providers to instigate improvements in patient services (ACSQHC 2019b).

The Australian Hospital Patient Experience Question Set (AHPEQS) is a tool used to assess patient experiences of treatment and care in a private or public hospital. AHPEQS helps to improve the safety and quality of health care by allowing organisations to understand the patient’s perspective (ACSQHC 2019b; AIHW 2018).

PROMs measure aspects of a person’s health status such as symptoms, quality of life and needs and are collected directly from patients either online, via a smartphone or through paper-based means.

Collecting PROMs, and then instigating an appropriate clinical response, has been shown to prolong survival, reduce health system use and improve patients’ quality of life. While there are many sets of PROMs questions that are relevant to any cancer patient, specific questions can be tailored to particular cancer types, populations or different phases of cancer care.

All new diagnoses should be reported, as appropriate, to the relevant state or territory cancer registry.