On May 31, during World No Tobacco Day, the Ministère de la Santé et des Services sociaux (MSSS) announced its plan to launch a lung cancer screening demonstration project using low-dose computed tomography (CT scans). As part of the project, and at the request of the MSSS, our learning health system experts helped develop the decision aid for clinicians and citizens who are eligible for lung cancer screening in Quebec. One more step toward data- and public-driven practices!
Coming together in the middle of a pandemic
Under the leadership of Dr. Hervé Zomahoun and Dr. France Légaré, our team was able to rally family physicians, pneumologists, nurses, respiratory therapists, researchers, public servants, members of the public, decision-makers and other key people around a consensus, which led to the drafting of guidelines to be used in the creation of a decision aid to help people who are eligible for lung cancer screening make an informed choice about whether or not to undergo screening.
We applied our expertise in learning health systems with the aim of involving members of the multidisciplinary committee, simplifying the data and helping users make informed decisions at every stage of the tool’s development. As such, we managed to create a means for different people and organizations to interact and share knowledge to integrate data science into clinical and organizational practices.
A thorough and concerted effort
In order to allow the MSSS to proceed with the creation of the tool, we proceeded to write the protocol describing in detail the different steps of the tool’s development. This document was reviewed and approved by the multidisciplinary committee. We then proceeded with the following steps:
- Literature review aimed at identifying and critically analyzing existing tools in the world, according to IPAS criteria.
- The establishment and facilitation of a multidisciplinary committee through a deliberative workshop that provided recommendations for the subsequent stages of the tool’s development.
- Literature review to identify and critically analyze evidence to inform the decision support tool under development.
- A draft content of the lung cancer screening decision support tool was developed based on the content of existing tools, the evidence identified and analyzed, and the IPDAS criteria.
- This version was reviewed by an expert literacy team and the tool development team.
- An evaluation of the content of the tool was conducted using the Delphi method by the members of the multidisciplinary committee.
- Additional discussions on the content of the tool were held with professional public health staff from the MSSS and pulmonologists in order to reach a consensus.
- The MSSS communications department assembled the tool according to the development team’s instructions.
- An iterative process was followed until the final version of the decision support tool for lung cancer screening in Québec was obtained.