What is a Diagnostic Assessment Program?

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Diagnostic Assessment Programs (DAPs) have been mandated by the Ministry of Health via Cancer Care Ontario to help reduce the amount of stress experienced by cancer patients, as well as to coordinate care. 

DAPs are characterized by patient-centered care and provide a single point of access for diagnostic services. They coordinate and streamline the referral and follow up systems, while establishing and monitoring quality indicators. Through the DAP, doctors are able to gain access to diagnostic tests and results for their patients in a timely manner. All patients enrolled in a DAP will have access to a patient navigator. The patient navigator actively guides patients through the health care system during their diagnostic journey, helping patients to overcome barriers within the current healthcare system.

“The time from when my doctors suspected something was wrong, to my actual diagnosis was very nerve-wracking,” admits Carole, a cancer patient in the South West region. “The DAP provided me with a nurse navigator who guided me through my journey.  It was comforting to have one person looking out for me.” 

For patients like Carole, the DAP provided the supports necessary to deal with the unexpected journey caused by her diagnosis. “My nurse navigator was there to explain my treatment path to me,” says Carole. “She even came to visit me while I was in the hospital. It was great to meet face-to-face.” 

The South West Regional Cancer Program has successfully launched thoracic and colorectal DAPs in the region. The team is also in the process of establishing prostate DAPs in London and Owen Sound.

“The implementation of DAP programs in the South West will help to ensure patients receive care as close to home as possible,” says Sue Stein, Nurse Navigator at the South West Regional Cancer Program. “Being close to home with friends and family is important for patients faced with a distressing situation.”

Photo - Sue Stein, Nurse Navigator at the South West Regional Cancer Program.

media inquiries

Sara Wilson
Publicity and Promotions Specialist
South West Regional Cancer Program
519-685-8500 ext. 71826