A comparative analysis: international variation in PET-CT service provision in oncology-an International Cancer Benchmarking Partnership study.

Published on Feb 20, 2021in International Journal for Quality in Health Care1.957
· DOI :10.1093/INTQHC/MZAA166
Charlotte Lynch , Irene Reguilon3
Estimated H-index: 3
+ 18 AuthorsSamantha Harrison5
Estimated H-index: 5
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Abstract
OBJECTIVE To explore differences in position emission tomography-computed tomography (PET-CT) service provision internationally to further understand the impact variation may have upon cancer services. To identify areas of further exploration for researchers and policymakers to optimize PET-CT services and improve the quality of cancer services. DESIGN Comparative analysis using data based on pre-defined PET-CT service metrics from PET-CT stakeholders across seven countries. This was further informed via document analysis of clinical indication guidance and expert consensus through round-table discussions of relevant PET-CT stakeholders. Descriptive comparative analyses were produced on use, capacity and indication guidance for PET-CT services between jurisdictions. SETTING PET-CT services across 21 jurisdictions in seven countries (Australia, Denmark, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, Norway and the UK). PARTICIPANTS None. INTERVENTION(S) None. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE(S) None. RESULTS PET-CT service provision has grown over the period 2006-2017, but scale of increase in capacity and demand is variable. Clinical indication guidance varied across countries, particularly for small-cell lung cancer staging and the specific acknowledgement of gastric cancer within oesophagogastric cancers. There is limited and inconsistent data capture, coding, accessibility and availability of PET-CT activity across countries studied. CONCLUSIONS Variation in PET-CT scanner quantity, acquisition over time and guidance upon use exists internationally. There is a lack of routinely captured and accessible PET-CT data across the International Cancer Benchmarking Partnership countries due to inconsistent data definitions, data linkage issues, uncertain coverage of data and lack of specific coding. This is a barrier in improving the quality of PET-CT services globally. There needs to be greater, richer data capture of diagnostic and staging tools to facilitate learning of best practice and optimize cancer services.
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