The national program on standardized cancer care pathways in Sweden: Observations and findings half way through

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

In 2015, the Swedish government initiated a national cancer reform program to standardize cancer care pathways. Primary aims included shortened waiting times among patients with suspected cancer, increased patient satisfaction and reduced regional variation. The implementation phase of the program is now more than half way through and both achievements and challenges have been identified. The ongoing evaluation demonstrates that professional engagement and adjustments on the meso- and micro-level of the system are essential to achieving sustainable improvements. Waiting times have shortened for the pathways launched first, and patients are satisfied with a more transparent process. Physicians in primary care are satisfied to inform patients about the pathways but point out problems with comorbidity and complicated diagnostic procedures related to unspecific symptoms. Mechanisms and ethical considerations behind possible crowding-out effects need to be thoroughly highlighted and discussed with staff and management. The results so far appear promising but meso- and micro-levels of the system need to be more involved in the design processes.

Details

Authors
Organisations
External organisations
  • Socialstyrelsen / Swedish National Board of Health and Welfare
  • Jönköping University
  • Linköping University
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Health Care Service and Management, Health Policy and Services and Health Economy

Keywords

  • Cancer care, Microsystem perspective, Primary health care, Standardized pathways
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)945-948
Number of pages4
JournalHealth Policy
Volume122
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 2018 Sep 1
Publication categoryResearch
Peer-reviewedYes