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Why we need a population-based approach to clinical indicators for cancer: a case study using microscopic confirmation of lung cancer in Queensland

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An important function of clinical cancer registries is to provide feedback to clinicians on various performance measures. To date, most clinical cancer registries in Australia are located in tertiary academic hospitals, where adherence to guidelines is probably already high. Microscopic confirmation is an important process measure for lung cancer care. We found that the proportion of patients with lung cancer without microscopic confirmation was much higher in regional public hospitals (27.1%) than in tertiary hospitals (7.5%), and this disparity remained after adjusting for age, sex and comorbidities. The percentage was also higher in the private than in the public sector. This case study shows that we need a population-based approach to measuring clinical indicators that includes regional public hospitals as a matter of priority and should ideally include the private sector.
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Keywords: clinical registry; lung cancer; quality of care

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Department of Thoracic Medicine, The Prince Charles Hospital, 2: Department of Medicine, University of Queensland 3: Epidemiology Services Unit, Queensland Health, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia

Publication date: June 1, 2006

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