The general objective of BENCH-CAN is to benchmark comprehensive cancer care & yield best practice examples in a way that contributes to improving the quality of interdisciplinary patient treatment. To achieve this, the project addresses 6 specific objectives:
1. To collect, compare and align by consensus formation the standards, recommendations and accreditation criteria of comprehensive cancer care in selected European countries.
2. To review and refine a benchmarking tool that can be applied to comprehensive cancer care through interdisciplinary patient treatment.
3. To pilot the benchmark tool with particular attention to operations management and best clinical practice.
4. To maximise knowledge exchange and sharing of best practice between providers of comprehensive cancer care in member states and regions.
5. To ensure compatibility of the benchmarking tools with existing cancer care resources and services.
6. To ensure the sustainability and longer-term benefits of the project.
The number of new cancer patients is steadily increasing but differences in EU health systems performance show room for improvement, contributing to a larger degree of disease & symptom free survival after primary treatment & prolonged symptom free metastatic disease. Improving the oncologic care infrastructure towards state of the art comprehensive care provision, will contribute to patients: well-being & economic productivity, as well as economic spin-offs in biotech. It looks to possible added value by attention to how the tool might be used across clinical specialisms as co-morbidity rises in ageing populations.
BENCH-CAN contributes to objective 2 "Promote health", including the reduction of health inequalities & contributes to implementation of priority 3.2.4 "prevention of major and rare diseases". It also addresses the basic principles of "Together for Health"; complements EPAAC WPs (healthcare and cancer data & information); and will inform Pillar B (Care and cure) of the Strategic Implementation Plan of the European Innovation Platform for Active and Healthy Ageing.
WP1 Coordination - All partners use an agreed methods portfolio through starting, implementation & closure phases. (Objs 1-6). WP2 Dissemination - mixes active & passive dissemination methods. It builds on ACC expertise, established websites and other tested tools. Best practice examples will have an agreed format for optimal diffusion (Objs 1, 4-6).WP3 Evaluation - Internal and external evaluations will be conducted. The latter looks at process, outcomes and sustainability (Objs 1-6). WP4 Benchmark development informed by EU-wide mapping and pilot site scanning exercises (Objs 1-2 & 4-5). WP5 Benchmark tools piloting - the tools will be piloted in 11 sites in 3 geographic EU clusters. Each site conducts a BM exercise and is visited by an external review group (Objs 3-4). WP6 Budget impact analysis - The BIA will inform organisational strengths & impact of CCC/tumour services. Tested in 3 pilot sites results will be included in the BM manual (Objs 3 & 5-6). WP7 Benchmarking manual - BM tools, BIA formulae, case summaries & best practice examples. Available through open access.
Expected outcomes are linked to 6 specific objectives listed above. These are:
Standards and benchmarking (Objs1-2): mapping exercise of existing standards; scanning exercise in pilot sites exploring internal/external factors influencing benchmarking & quality improvement; review of draft tool by partners before piloting
Piloting (Obj3): 1 internal review group per pilot site; external panel visits each site to peer review BM exercise with report presented to internal review group; each site identifies areas for improvement with action plans adopted; identified best practice examples & management processes assessed before inclusion in online database
Maximising knowledge exchange (Obj4): knowledge generated by the project (i) informs local action to improve interdisciplinary treatment of patients (ii) is cascaded across the EU and accounts for local sensitivities; 1 conference workshop & 3 keynote presentations
Compatibility (Obj5): briefing paper of BENCH-CAN & other CCC resources
Sustainability (Obj6): peer reviewed benchmark manual; best practice examples publicly available