No one but the patient experiences their health system journey and yet health services and processes are built primarily on the health professional’s view of what is needed, rather than the customer’s experience and knowledge of system requirements.
In 2011, 27 Cancer health professionals developed a big picture map of the current state of the Cancer Service at Cabrini Health. The picture served as a tool to exemplify the complexity of the cancer system from the patients’ perspective. Using the metaphor of a stream, it was evident that the patients’ flow of care was complicated by system issues.
The goal was to understand how value could be created in the cancer patient’s journey.
Using demand analysis, extended value stream mapping across the health system and understanding patient value, the current state was mapped and found to be multifaceted, complex and difficult to navigate. It was validated there is much waste at a time when patients have little time and energy to waste.
Data revealed four high volume/high impact cancer tumour streams with deeply entrenched issues. Teams based around the patient journey and system level improvement perspective commenced a program of improvement to create value with agreed targets and quality outcomes.
Outcome and learnings
The team have worked with cancer patients to redesign the model of care to achieve a person centered plan of care, whereby the patient feels in control. The national benchmark patient satisfaction survey (Press Ganey) indicates that satisfaction scores for Cancer patients at Cabrini have improved remarkably due to this work.