The main objective of the pilot program is to test the new organization of cancer care, its quality and clinical outcomes; the new care organization aims to improve the outcomes of cancer treatment. As part of the program, the complexity of diagnostics will be analysed and assessed on the basis of treatment pathways in 5 selected types of cancer – the most common in Poland – breast, lung, ovary, colon and prostate cancer.

The key value of the pilot program in Lower Silesia is the improvement of the safety and quality of oncological treatment (for the first time a quality monitoring system dedicated to the oncological diagnostic and therapeutic path organized around the patient was built), providing comprehensive treatment regardless of the place of residence, improvement of patient satisfaction and cost optimization of oncological care .

Uniform and structured standards for the description of histopathological and radiological examinations have been introduced in a dozen or so healthcare providers from Lower Silesia. Prophylactic questionnaires were also carried out, obtaining a database of thousands of people (including the first symptoms of cancer) and patient satisfaction surveys.

The project

As part of the pilot, the validity and effectiveness of the model based on a network of oncology centers are tested and assessed. The network comprised a provincial coordinating center and level I and II cooperating centers, whose task is to provide the recipient with comprehensive and coordinated oncological care in five selected types of malignant neoplasms – prostate, ovary, colon, breast and lung cancer.

Currently, the Polish cancer care system is fragmented and there is no cooperation between individual healthcare providers in terms of coordinating care for cancer patients. Patients do not have equal access to comprehensive oncological care, from prophylaxis to rehabilitation – there is a phenomenon of health exclusion.

There is no uniform reporting that would allow an objective assessment of the quality of cancer care. There is also a lack of uniform, standardized guidelines and forms of diagnostic and therapeutic protocols.

The expected effect of the pilot program is the improvement of safety and quality of cancer treatment, improvement of patient satisfaction and cost optimization of cancer care.

As a result of the Pilot, the National Oncological Network will be implemented to increase the effectiveness of cancer prevention, early diagnosis and treatment quality, as well as to coordinate procedures and monitor quality. As a consequence, the implementation of KSO will enable the reversal of unfavorable epidemiological trends in Poland and will reduce the social costs of cancer burden. In addition, standardization and monitoring of treatment will ensure the optimization of diagnostic and therapeutic pathways, which should translate directly into the optimization of spending by the National Health Fund.

Next steps

The expected results are the development of a model of a system of coordinated and comprehensive oncological care, which will contribute to the improvement of treatment results, reduction of the number of complications, increase of cost effectiveness, as well as to the continuity and complementarity of the path of the oncological patient. The population results of the pilot project will be observable after the implementation of the KSO.

The oncological pilot is underway. However, already at the present stage, it is possible to indicate the improvement of the results of oncological treatment by introducing uniform standards of diagnostics and treatment. One of the key aspects is to conduct the diagnostic and therapeutic process in specialized units based on uniform pathways.

The results of the KSO Pilot are monitored based on precisely defined measures.