The Healthcare Challenge in Cancer
In the discussions between patients and providers regarding cancer treatment options, cost has joined safety, efficacy and evidence as factors to be considered. New decision support tools are being developed and used to support oncologists in evaluating treatment options with patients. Many of these tools however, are shaped through the eyes of payers and providers, and don’t include the priorities and preferences of patients and their families.
Patients are required to make life-defining treatment choices based on criteria they may not understand and which may not reflect what is important to them regarding life, quality of life and overall well-being, both short and long term.
In 2016, the CancerCare Patient Access and Engagement Report laid the groundwork for understanding the true ‘costs’ – physical, emotional, financial – of the cancer experience for patients and families nationwide. Now, CancerCare will build on this report with a multi-pronged, long-term initiative intended to change the national healthcare landscape, change the dynamics of individual patient decision-making, and change the experience for patients and families affected by cancer.
A Program of Action
The CancerCare Patient Values Initiative intends to reframe the national healthcare policy dialogue to include what is important to patients and their families, and to make sure that patients’ values and priorities are incorporated into treatment decision making. With guidance from an Advisory Board of esteemed experts from across the oncology community, the initiative will conduct stakeholder research to inform the development of new resources that can be easily used by patients and clinicians to capture patient priorities during treatment planning.
The CancerCare Patient Values Manifesto declares the fundamental importance of including patients’ values and priorities in cancer treatment planning. This manifesto is being used to inform and advocate with legislative policymakers, insurers, healthcare administrators, electronic medical record developers and clinicians regarding the inherent challenges in shared decision making between patients and physicians. The manifesto builds on a body of research led by CancerCare’s Patient Values Initiative and its Advisory Board of experts from across the oncology community.