07 February 2023

Doctor doing survey with patient in hospital

A redesigned patient experience survey for people receiving cancer treatment will help shape the future of cancer care in Victoria’s public health services.

The Victorian Cancer Patient Experience Survey will collect data on a patients’ entire cancer care journey and their experiences of diagnosis, decision making, treatments, emergency department attendance, follow-up care, information received and overall care.

Understanding the patient experience across the pathway of care helps health services and healthcare professionals improve the way care is delivered.

The survey will be rolled out at 38 health services across metropolitan Melbourne and regional Victoria in March 2023.

Survey results will inform the priorities of the Victorian cancer plan 2024-2028, which is to be released in mid-2024, and also allow evaluation of current patient care.

Almost 5,000 Victorian cancer patients took part in the previous Victorian Cancer Patient Experience Survey in 2019, with 97% of respondents saying they were satisfied or very satisfied with their overall care.

Spiri Galetakis, Principal Project Manager for Cancer Support, Treatment and Research at the Department of Health, said the survey aims to assist Victorian cancer services to improve the quality of treatment delivery and outcomes for their patients and all people affected by cancer.

“Cancer services will be able to understand which aspects of their service result in a positive experience and which aspects require improvement,” Ms Galetakis said. “At the statewide level, the survey results will inform policy and government initiatives.”

Ms Galetakis said this edition of the survey will include new questions taken from the EQ-5D-5L set of standardised, self-reported outcomes questions, which measure health-related quality of life.

“The inclusion of these patient reported outcome measures (often referred to as PROs) will help us to understand how cancer patients assess their own health status.

“The EQ-5D instrument has been widely used in Australia and around the world to describe and value health among people with different conditions and diseases as well as among the general population.”

Victorian health services will be able to access results for their health service via the VHES Reporting portal, with data available at the equivalent of campus, health service, peer, region and state levels.

Results from the VHES Cancer survey are expected to be available from July 2023.

To find out more about the VHES Cancer survey or the VHES program in general, please contact [email protected].