Healthcare Quarterly

Healthcare Quarterly 13(3) May 2010 : 44-48.doi:10.12927/hcq.2010.21815
Quality Improvement

An Integrated, Population-Based Framework for Knowledge Management for Cancer Control

Neil A. Hagen, Peter Craighead and Rosmin Esmail


Cancer control organizations commonly refer to the critical role of clinical practice guidelines to support the best possible cancer care. But how can a cancer care program ensure the systematic implementation of those guidelines? The goals of this article are to describe the process of developing a cancer control system driven by knowledge management, to highlight the key elements of this system and to foster discussion on the implementation of such frameworks. In order to promote best cancer practices within an expanded radiation service model for the province of Alberta, we developed an integrated conceptual framework for knowledge management. We identified six key elements of a knowledge management framework for the cancer program: evidencebased provincial guidelines, funding decisions, harmonized care pathways, targeted knowledge transfer projects, performance measurement and feedback to the system. We are establishing a process to characterize the explicit linkages and accountabilities between each of these elements as part of a broader cancer care quality agenda. We will implement the framework to support the start-up of the first of three new radiation treatment services in the province. The basic elements of a guidelines-supported cancer care system are not in doubt; how to unambiguously engage them within an integrated care system remains an area of intense interest.



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