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.
- Hälso- och sjukvårdsorganisation, hälsopolitik och hälsoekonomi