Soft tissue sarcomas (STS) are rare but commonly fatal cancers. The incidence of soft tissue sarcomas within Australia has increased between 1982 and 2009 from 4.7/100,000 to 5.87/100,000 respectively.  The number of suspected sarcoma lesions that require referral is likely to be much higher. This number coupled with population growth within Australia has led to an ever-increasing number of STS referrals to tertiary sarcoma centres (TSC) for diagnosis and management. The infrastructure and triage model within TSC have remained fairly constant since inception, hence...
Methods and materials
The DSMDT was implemented in May 2020. Excluding the period of transition, a retrospective analysis of data from 3 months prior (January - March 2020) and 3 months post intervention (June-August 2020) was performed.
[Fig 2][Fig 3]
A total of 322 cases over the 6-month period met inclusion criteria. Comparing the pre-DSMDT and post-DSMDT group respectively, the average number of new patient referrals that were seen increased by 79.5% from 39 to 70 per month. These figures incorporate a true increase in numbers as well as formalising of previous “corridor consultation,” cases. This ensures a more robust process without the risk of patients being lost to the system.
- The average time for the first formalised management plan to be developed decreased...
- The DSMDT is shown to efficiently triage and vet referrals to the sarcoma service and streamlines the initial diagnostic process.
- The results of our study support overseas experience and show that the implementation of the DSMDT significantly reduces the time to the first formalised management plan from 39 days to 7.4 days and increases the number of patient’s referrals seen per month by 79% to 70 patients.
- The DSMDT has multiple benefits for patients. Patients are not required to travel large distances,...
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