The Community-led Cancer Screening Project is 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 is equitable participation in cancer screening programs for the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community in Wyndham, and for low socio-economic and culturally and linguistically diverse communities in Brimbank.
Participating general practices use a quality improvement approach to enhance knowledge and strengthen systems to increase cancer screening in under-screened communities.
Kings Park Medical Centre is one of eight general practices participating in the project.
Lea Castro is the Practice Manager at the clinic. We asked Lea about the cancer screening quality improvement project and the changes her practice hopes to make.
Ms Lea Castro: “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.
“Through the project, our practice will work mostly on breast cancer screening but we will also be working on bowel and cervical cancer. We have identified that there is more room for improvement in this area and we have a low uptake of mammograms. We also identified from the nurse’s discussions with our patients that the Filipino community has a poor understanding and awareness of screening”.
“We hope to improve our cancer screening rates, improve community understanding of cancer screening and become more effective at health promotion.”
One of the aims of the project is 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.
Ms Lea Castro: “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.”
How can I implement quality improvement in my practice?
North Western Melbourne Primary Health Network (NWMPHN) has designed a new model based on quality improvement. This model represents an exciting new way for our PHN to work with practices in our region and will help your practice meet the requirements for PIP QI.
Even if you aren’t planning on claiming the PIP QI, this model will support you to look at your practice priorities and make improvements, with help from the PHN.
This new approach to working with general practice commences in July 2019. Visits will be booked with all practices to discuss how this model can best work for you. If you would like to start the conversation now, please call us on (03) 9347 1188 or email email@example.com.
Where can I get more information?
A quality improvement toolkit developed by the three PHNs leading the Community-led Cancer Screening project is available on our website. This toolkit includes information about data management, processes, setting baselines and goals, recalls and reminders, patient-centred and culturally sensitive initiatives, and education resources. The toolkit is available as a single file or as individual sections.
NWMPHN has also developed a Quality Improvement Guide and Tools, which includes templates and examples to help you understand how to complete quality improvement activities in your practice.
- HealthPathways Melbourne provides clinical advice and easy-to-follow maps of referral services
- HealthPathways Melbourne has comprehensive pages that cover the three main screening programs covered in this project. For more information see the pages below:
If you do not have access to HealthPathways, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Disclaimer: This article was provided by NWMPHN. While every effort has been made to ensure the information is accurate, North Western Melbourne Primary Health Network does not warrant or represent the accuracy, currency and completeness of any information or material included within.