One of the key elements of CanNET is the focus on improving access to multidisciplinary care for all people diagnosed with cancer. This will ensure better care and support for people affected by cancer through an integrated team approach to cancer care.
Integrated multidisciplinary care occurs when medical, nursing and allied health professionals consider together all treatment options (including all of the potential benefits and disadvantages of treatment decisions), the preferences of the person affected by cancer, and collaboratively, develop a care pathway that best meets the individual's needs.
Multidisciplinary Team (MDT) Research Project
Cancer Australia has engaged Adelaide Research and Innovation (ARI) at the University of South Australia to undertake a research project relating to the operation of MDTs in Australia.
This research project will consolidate the current evidence surrounding the factors that contribute to the functioning of MDTs – including external influences such as environmental, funding, policy, behavioural and clinical elements – and examine these factors within established MDTs across different states, territories and settings.
This research will provide a better understanding of what factors are required and how they interact to facilitate the best possible MDT outcomes at both patient, service and provider levels.
Phase 1 (consolidation of evidence) of this project is expected to be completed by mid 2011.
Communications Technology and Multidisciplinary Care
Rural health care providers will be able to more effectively participate in multidisciplinary care planning due to greater linkages with major cancer services and use of telehealth technology. Linking health care providers in different areas and across state and territory boundaries will also facilitate multidisciplinary care planning for people with less common cancers.
The following resources can be used to guide this work.