In 2012, the Canadian Institute of Health Information (CIHI) released a report on Breast Cancer Surgery in Canada, 2007-2008 to 2009-2010, showing that substantial variation exists in the use of surgical breast cancer treatments across Canada. When comparing Canadian rates of breast cancer surgery by province, Saskatchewan had high rates of mastectomies compared to breast conserving surgery plus radiation. A provincial group of breast cancer surgeons met to start to identify the root causes of why provincial mastectomy rates may be higher. The surgeons identified the need for more clinically detailed data to better understand the decision-making process associated with mastectomies in Saskatchewan.
Similar to the Vascular Project, this team is working closely with eHealth to develop a standard electronic data capture for breast cancer surgery, forming a synoptic report. This report will allow surgeons to replace their current practice of documentation (oral dictation) and supports collection of patient information, at the point of care. It can then be used for multiple purposes.
Once implemented, the availability of clinical data will aid in further understanding of the root causes of outcomes in Saskatchewan’s breast cancer surgery process. It will drive clinical quality improvement work aimed at furthering standardization of care, where appropriate, and alignment with best evidence guidelines.