Head and neck cancers: monitoring quality and reporting outcomes

Chilkuri, Madhavi, Vangaveti, Venkat, and Smith, Justin (2021) Head and neck cancers: monitoring quality and reporting outcomes. Journal of Medical Imaging and Radiation Oncology, 66 (3). pp. 455-465.

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Introduction: Head and neck cancers (HNC) require high level multidisciplinary care to achieve optimal outcomes. Reporting of quality indicators (QIs) has been instigated by some health services in an effort to improve quality of care. The aim of this study was to determine the quality of care provided to patients with HNC at a single institution by analysing compliance with QIs and to explore the feasibility and utility of collecting this data.

Methods: This was a single institution retrospective chart review of all patients with squamous cell HNC at Townsville Hospital who were treated with curative intent between June 2011 and June 2019. Data was entered into a RedCap database and then exported to Stata V16 for analysis.

Results: A total of 537 patients were included in the overall study, with six patients who had a synchronous non-HNC and two patients who received previous radiotherapy (RT) to the head and neck region excluded from the outcome analysis. Overall, compliance with pre-treatment, treatment and post-treatment QIs was high, with the exception of smoking cessation support (66%), post-treatment dental review and time to post-operative RT (33% of patients within 6 weeks). The 5-year overall survival was 69.4% (CI; 64–73.2%). The cumulative incidence of locoregional relapse for the overall study cohort was 18% (CI; 14.8–21.4%).

Conclusion: Collecting and evaluating quality metrics is feasible and helps identify areas for improvement. Centres treating HNC patients should strive towards monitoring quality against benchmarks and demonstrate transparency in outcome data.

Item ID: 72230
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1754-9485
Keywords: head and neck cancer, outcomes, quality improvement, quality indicators
Copyright Information: ©2021 The Authors. Journal of Medical Imaging and Radiation Oncology published by John Wiley & Sons Australia, Ltd on behalf of Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Radiologists. This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-Non Commercial-No Derivs License, which permits use and distribution in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited, the use is non-commercial and no modifications or adaptations are made.
Date Deposited: 09 Feb 2022 11:33
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