Expand monitoring of early and locally advanced breast cancer patient management
The Breast Surgeons of Australia and New Zealand operate the BreastSurgANZ Quality Audit, the largest collection of data on the management of early and locally advanced breast cancer in these countries. This grant will enhance the audit infrastructure chiefly by increasing the scope of the dataset and reporting. This work will expand monitoring of the quality of care provided to patients as measured against Key Performance Indicators that reflect national evidence based best practice.
What we aim to achieve
The grant will allow an expansion of the scope of the audit in three areas; to monitor the standard of care provided to indigenous peoples by adding a data field to collect indigenous status, updating the fourth Key Performance Indicator in line with the uptake in Sentinel Node Biopsy to now measure the percentage of in situ cases undergoing breast surgery without axillary clearance rather thanaxillary surgery and adding a sixth Key Performance Indicator to report on the percentage of high risk cases referred for chemotherapy.
The funding will provide for the audit to regularly check individual surgeon performance against the Key Performance Indicators, by funding development of a report to support the periodic Outliers Process.
The grant will also enable investigations towards introducing SNOMED terminology in the future with a view to better support comparability with international datasets, implementing a data cleansing program to ensure data completeness and accuracy, increase the timeliness of case entry by creating the ability for a proxy or ‘data manager’ to enter data on behalf of a surgeon, and modernising the look and feel of the data portal.
What are the next steps and milestones for your research?
Release of the updated data portal with the enhancements described above.
What motivates you to pursue cancer research?
One of the founding purposes and ongoing key commitments of the Society is to improve patient care through monitoring the quality of care provided by our members. Our membership includes almost all surgeons managing breast cancer in Australia and New Zealand, and participation in the audit and its Outlier Process is mandatory for membership.
My message to supporters:
Monitoring best practice in patient care is an important facet of fighting cancer. Research for new treatments and setting of evidence based standards is unquestionably vital – but it is equally essential to ensure that these best practice treatments are actually being adopted in accordance with their standards for use, and to address any instances where this is not occurring. Clinical audit plays a key role in achieving this. Audit data must be complete, accurate and appropriate in scope to be of most benefit, and updated over time in line with changes in best practice cancer management. The funding from Cancer Council SA has been indispensable to ensuring that the monitoring of patient care can continue to be performed on the most current benchmarks for the management of early and locally advanced breast cancer.