ecancermedicalscience

Review

Holistic view of patients with melanoma of the skin: how can health systems create value and achieve better clinical outcomes?

27 Aug 2019
Patrícia Redondo, Matilde Ribeiro, Machado Lopes, Marina Borges, Francisco Rocha Gonçalves

Patients with skin cancer should be treated in healthcare units that ensure holistic and multidisciplinary approaches. Current healthcare units, especially those dedicated to cancer care, must evolve to integrated patient-centred systems.

The current review presents a holistic health services perspective towards managing patients with melanoma of the skin, based on a literature search. It includes a detailed discussion on how this could impact on the patient, his or her quality of life and on service providers.

Data from a multidisciplinary integrated practice unit, specialised in skin cancer, were also discussed, namely, for outcomes measurements, access to innovative treatments, value-based healthcare, patient centricity and use of integrated systems.

Epidemiology data, including disease determinants and risk factors, play an important role in defining measures, resources and management of these integrated cancer units. To optimise effective care and improve survival outcomes, integrated cancer clinics should comprise, in a patient-centred way, innovative treatments and technologies, along with continuous training and creation of multidisciplinary units of healthcare professionals.

Measurement of outcomes, such as clinical, quality of life and cost, is decisive in determining affordability and access to the best available state-of-the-art care. Besides, treatment of melanoma has significantly improved over recent years, but with increasing costs, which brings a challenging mission to guarantee access to treatment and quality care. Value-based healthcare allows the achievement of better health outcomes and higher quality services while reducing the costs associated with the full-care cycle.

Therefore, current healthcare systems should develop in line with health institutions’ organisation and culture, increasing adherence to best practices and create value.

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