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“Achieving Timely Treatment in Head and Neck Cancer: A Quality Improvement Project”

Francisco Lee, Thomas Rotter, Joseph Dort, Steven Nakoneshny, Jonathan Dautremont


OBJECTIVE: To identify key milestones in the diagnosis and treatment of head and neck squamous cell cancer (HNSCC) patients, outline process delays, and develop a strategy to reduce the time from presentation to curative treatment.

METHODS: Value stream mapping and root cause analysis were used to identify delays. A centralized system for triage, intake, and standardized in-office biopsy of HNSCC patients was implemented and statistical analysis between a post-intervention cohort and a case-matched control group was performed. The primary outcome was time from specialist consultation to treatment (STT).

RESULTS: STT time was significantly reduced by 18.5 days, time from consultation to biopsy reduced by 6.07 days, and time from surgical booking to surgery decreased by 9.63 days.

CONCLUSIONS: Centralization of in-office biopsies as the first-line method to obtain a tissue diagnosis in suspected HNSCC patients can be implemented as a standardized policy to improve treatment initiation in southern Alberta.

Learning Objectives

By the end of this session, an otolaryngologist will be able to understand how quality improvement techniques can be utilized to identify delays in the treatment of head and neck cancer.

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Scheduling Details

This 7 minute presentation is scheduled to take place on June 4, 2019 at 14:04 in the Salon 9/10.

Authors' Contact Details

Corresponding Author: Dr. Jonathan Dautremont

Senior Author: Dr. Jonathan Dautremont

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