Our study aims to improve how patients with cancer moves through the healthcare system from diagnosis to treatment to survivorship or end-of-life care. As patients transition between healthcare providers during their complex journey there are opportunities for care to go poorly, (patients can experience adverse events, are less satisfied with their care, and can have worse outcomes). Our study will build on previous research that has shown cancer patients do better when tools (such as survivorship care plans) are used to transition between care providers and settings. We will look at how patients with head and neck, bladder, lung and colorectal cancers transition between care providers and settings during cancer treatment and the effect on their health. We will use the findings to work with decision makers, care providers, patients, and researchers to find high-priority transitions in care that need to be improved. These priorities will be the target for future studies that will design, implement, and evaluate tools to improve how patients move through cancer care.
For patients, transitions in care can be an added challenge during an already difficult time. This study is the foundation for future work that will change care delivery to ensure patients receive the highest quality of care.