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Major Milestones


Much was accomplished under the previous Ontario Cancer Plan. Here are some highlights of achievements from 2011–2015.

Twenty-nine members joined Cancer Care Ontario’s Patient and Family Advisory Council, working to improve the patient experience along every step of the cancer care continuum.

MyCancerIQ , an online cancer risk assessment tool, was launched in February 2015.

All Regional Cancer Centres developed programs to screen patients for smoking status and refer smokers to smoking cessation programs .

More than 5 million Ontarians received direct correspondence to encourage them to participate in breast, cervical, and colorectal cancer screening .

More than 5,000 primary care physicians and 1,000 physician delegates registered to receive a Screening Activity Report , which helps primary care providers understand and manage their patients’ screening activity and appropriate follow-up.

Thirty-four Diagnostic Assessment Programs now have patient navigators; 4 out of 5 patients strongly agreed that navigators helped them cope with the diagnostic process.

The Diagnostic Assessment Program - Electronic Pathway Solution rolled out across 5 regions; more than 12,000 patients are able to access their appointments, test results and educational resources, and care providers can use the tool to streamline patient care.

Disease Pathway Maps were published for colon, rectal, lung and prostate cancers.

Capital infrastructure was provided to support the opening of 2 new cancer centres in Niagara and Barrie, and expanded radiation treatment across the province. Since 2011, an investment of $154.5-million has been made to replace radiation equipment and system to keep the province current and state-of-the-art.

Working towards the implementation of the second Aboriginal Cancer Strategy , Cancer Care Ontario signed relationship protocols with 5 Aboriginal groups.

Wait times for diagnosis, treatment and pathology reporting improved. Some examples of improvements seen in 2013/14 include:

  • The wait time from referral for suspicion of lung cancer to diagnosis was 20% shorter compared with 2010.
  • In cancer surgery, 85% of patients received surgery within their wait time target versus 76% in 2010/11.
  • For systemic treatment, 75% of patients were seen for consultation within 14 days of referral, compared with 66% in 2012/13.
  • For radiation treatment, 83% of patients consulted with a radiation oncologist within 14 days of referral, compared to 75% in 2012/13. In addition, in the second quarter of 2014/15, 90% of patients started their treatment within set targets (1, 7 or 14 days), compared with 87% in 2012/13. This improvement in wait times occurred despite the deployment of higher-complexity treatment techniques.
  • 90% of post-surgical pathology reports were completed within the 14-day target time for colorectal cancers.

The risk of chemotherapy errors was reduced through the implementation of Canada’s first cancer-specific computerized prescriber order entry system, which now supports 93% of intravenous chemotherapy prescriptions in Ontario.

Cancer Care Ontario's Provincial Drug Reimbursement Program introduced 2 new programs to improve access to necessary cancer treatments: the Evidence Building Program and the Case-by-Case Review Program

Funding for the Provincial Drug Reimbursement Program increased to approximately $320-million from $218-million (a 46% increase) since 2011.

The number of advance practice radiation therapists increased by 17, for a total of 24 professionals who have shown to contribute to reducing treatment wait times and improving quality of care.

Rectal cancer MRI synoptic reports were introduced, which have improved communication between radiologists and referring physicians.

Access to PET imaging for Ontario patients increased to include 5 new clinical indications, and the Pediatric PET Registry was launched.