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Cancer Screening in General Practice Quality Improvement Project

The Community-led Cancer Screening Project was a three-year project led by North Western Melbourne Primary Health Network and funded by the Victorian Department Health and Human Services.

The goal of the project was equitable participation in cancer screening programs:

  • for the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community in Wyndham
  • for low socio-economic and culturally and linguistically diverse communities in Brimbank.

Participating general practices used a quality improvement approach to enhance knowledge and strengthen systems to increase cancer screening in under-screened communities.

Project videos

Reducing fear to improve cancer screening
Dr Jason Wu, Kings Park Medical Centre

Plan, Do, Study, Act: an opportunity to learn about each other and health promotion
Dr Jason Wu, Kings Park Medical Centre

Finding under-screened patients in your community
Dr Stephanie Ting, Wellcrest Medical Tarneit

Using a simple video to break the barrier to testing
Dr Chamira Ranatunga, The Doctors Werribee

Creating a quality practice through quality improvement
Dr Chamira Ranatunga, The Doctors Werribee

Why cervical screening starts at 25 and not 18
Dr Wendy Pakes, VCS Foundation

The essential role of general practice in cancer screening
Dr Meron Pitcher, Western Health; Dr Chris Hogan, University of Melbourne; Dr Wendy Pakes, VCS Foundation

Quality improvement is like learning to drive
Dr Richard Bills, Brooke Street Medical

Quality improvement: start with low hanging fruit
Dr Richard Bills, Brooke Street Medical

Case study: Kings Park Medical Centre

Kings Park Medical Centre was one of eight general practices that participated in the project.

Lea Castro is the practice manager at Kings Park Medical Centre.

“Our practice is committed to preventative care (among other things) and we have tried to participate as much as we can in collaborative work such as this. It gives the team that push to really work together to achieve a common goal and, in this case, an opportunity to come up with quality improvement activities for cancer screening for our patients. We would also like to learn and develop new techniques and methods of improving preventative health.”

– Lea Castro

The team at Kings Park Medical Centre planning QI activities over lunch.

One of the aims of the project was to encourage a team-based approach to improving cancer screening. At Kings Park, the entire practice team got together over three lunch breaks to come up with a list of possible Plan, Do, Study, Act (PDSA) cycles based on the aims and change areas they identified.

“Our team have met a few times to discuss based on the information we have extracted using Pen CAT and have agreed on what areas to work. We were also able to present to the rest of the practice team what we all want to achieve for this innovation in cancer screening program. To involve the whole practice team going forward, during our Friday clinical meetings prior to implementation of each PDSA we will present to all what we plan to do, obtain ideas and inform all how they can become involved.”

– Lea Castro