The Canadian Partnership for Quality Radiotherapy
Why us? Why now?
Radiotherapy is effective and safe treatment for cancer. Approximately 50% of cancer patients will benefit from radiotherapy at some point in their cancer journey, either as curative treatment or to palliate symptoms. Currently, there are 44 radiation treatment programs across Canada and over 120,000 radiation treatment courses are prescribed annually, most comprised of multiple fractions administered over several days.
The Canadian Partnership for Quality Radiotherapy is an alliance among the key national professional associations involved in the delivery of radiation treatment in Canada: the Canadian Association of Radiation Oncology (CARO), the Canadian Organization of Medical Physicists (COMP), and the Canadian Association of Medical Radiation Technologists (CAMRT). Financial and strategic backing for CPQR programs has been provided by the Health Canada through the Canadian Partnership Against Cancer (CPAC). CPQR has leveraged its successes to date by developing strategic partnerships with other organizations such as the Canadian Association of Provincial Cancer Agencies (CAPCA), the Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI), and Accreditation Canada. Both our founding and strategic partnerships have, and will continue to, support the integration of CPQR programs into the Canadian cancer treatment landscape.
An independent external review undertaken in 2016 highlighted several areas where CPQR excelled and had a positive impact on the Canadian radiation treatment community. CPQR has:
- Promoted an inter-disciplinary approach to program identification and development;
- Worked with partners to ensure that programs are implementable and measurable;
- Ensured a sustained commitment from radiation treatment professionals and the broader cancer care community; and
- Used its limited resources in an effective and efficient manner.
CPQR Leadership and Organizational Structure
The Steering Committee is responsible for setting strategic priorities for the program, and capitalizing on new and emerging opportunities. The committee includes representation from its partner organizations and CAPCA and includes patient volunteers. As part of its new agreement with CPAC, the CPQR Steering Committee has committed to reposition and reorganize CPQR to better align with current and future programmatic direction.
The CPQR team met at the Quality and Safety Summit, Halifax June 2016.
L-R: M. Milosevic, E. Kumar, B. Liszewski, T. Purdie, J. Kildea, L. Bird, C. Davis, L. Wilson, M. Brundage, A. Prashad, E. Brown, A.Caissie
In 2014 CPQR established the National Quality Advisory Committee (NQAC). Comprised of CPQR representatives from each of the 44 radiation treatment centres across Canada, NQAC has two main objectives:
- Provide feedback to CPQR and its partners on quality and safety initiatives and specific aspects of program activities.
- Act as a communication conduit between CPQR and the RT programs to ensure that CPQR programs are being integrated into centres.
Workflow and Capacity
CPQR has been able to move the radiotherapy quality and safety agenda forward significantly since its inception. Using a grass-roots and top down approach to the work has helped CPQR align its programs with front-line staff and senior management and given our programs traction within the community. Much of the achievement to date has been the result of a considerable time investment by the radiation treatment community. Working towards 2022, CPQR has developed a plan that capitalizes on existing workflow structures that continue to rely on community participation, but that also incorporate opportunities for involvement by those new to the profession(s).
Recognizing the need to ensure consistent program and strategic support, CPQR has expanded the role of the Executive Director and re-confirmed the commitment of COMP to provide financial administration services.