Reorganizing the Multidisciplinary Team Meetings in a Tertiary Centre for Gastro-Intestinal Oncology Adds Value to the Internal and Regional Care Pathways. A Mixed Method Evaluation.
International Journal of Integrated Care , Volume 21 - Issue 1 p. 1- 15
Introduction: The reorganisation of the structure of a Gastro-Intestinal Oncology Multidisciplinary Team Meeting (GIO-MDTM) in a tertiary centre with three care pathways is evaluated on added value. Methods: In a mixed method investigation, process indicators such as throughput times were analysed and stakeholders were interviewed regarding benefits and drawbacks of the reorganisation and current MDTM functioning. Results: For the hepatobiliary care pathway, the time to treatment plan increased, but the time to start treatment reduced significantly. The percentage of patients treated within the Dutch standard of 63 days increased for the three care pathways. From the interviews, three themes emerged: added value of MDTMs, focus on planning integrated care and awareness of possible improvements. Discussion: The importance of evaluating interventions in oncology care pathways is shown, including detecting unexpected drawbacks. The evaluation provides insight into complex dynamics of the care pathways and contributes with recommendations on functioning of an MDTM. Conclusions: Throughput times are only partly determined by oncology care pathway management, but have influence on the functioning of MDTMs. Process indicator information can help to reflect on integration of care in the region, resulting in an increase of patients treated within the Dutch standard.