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Patients, families and care providers expect our health system to be safe. Our goal is to be more proactive in reducing avoidable harm at every step of the cancer care continuum and in all care settings. We need to increase our understanding of safety issues that still exist and work towards addressing them through new benchmarks, guidelines and resources, and training. We also are working to strengthen our culture of safety and establish stronger governance and accountability.


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“As patients, we trust healthcare providers with our safety. We need to know that proper protocols for our care are in place and, more importantly, are being followed. We should receive clear, written instructions well in advance of our procedures, have our questions answered and our concerns addressed.”

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Ensure the safety of patients and caregivers in all care settings

Strategic Objectives

  • Expand the use of technologies and tools for providers that drive adherence to evidence-based guidelines across care settings, including the home.
  • Develop and implement patient safety tools in collaboration with patients and families that enable safer care in settings outside the hospital, including the home.
  • Identify opportunities for system level oversight for safety related to cancer services.
  • Advance peer review of care plans to ensure concordance with evidence-informed practice and appropriateness of care that will lead to improved patient safety and clinical effectiveness.
  • Describe cancer-specific requirements for regulated healthcare providers delivering cancer care.

By 2019

  • Concordance and compliance with evidence-based safety guidelines will be increased.
  • Patients and providers will be partners in designing how chemotherapy is delivered safely in the home.
  • All care partners, including patients and families, will have access to the resources that are needed to ensure a safe care environment, in all settings.
  • Following review of reported near-miss and actual incident data, Cancer Care Ontario and our partners will have identified targeted improvement initiatives.
  • An accountability framework and performance management structure will be in place to drive improvement in quality and safety in colonoscopy, mammography and pathology.
  • In radiation, pathology and mammography, provider peer reviews will be consistently conducted as part of clinical practice.
  • Healthcare providers involved in the delivery of chemotherapy, including in the community, will be appropriately trained in oncology care.

Examples of Initiatives

  • Implement plans for comprehensive quality management programs for colonoscopy, mammography and pathology. (Visit Quality Management Partnership to learn more.)
  • Implement the Systemic Treatment Provincial Plan , 2014–2019.
  • Through partnerships, increase specialized oncology training of care providers (oncology provider education, training and certification) across the cancer system.