Unravelling the Lung Cancer Diagnostic Pathway: Identifying Gaps and Opportunities for Improvement


  • Mateja Marc Malovrh University clinic Golnik
  • Katja Adamič


Background. A fast and well-organized complex diagnostic process is important for better success in the treatment of lung cancer patients. The aim of our study was to reveal the gaps and inefficiencies in the diagnostic process and to suggest improvement strategies in a single tertiary center in Slovenia.

Patients and methods. We employed a comprehensive approach to carefully dissect all the steps in the diagnostic journey for individuals suspected of having lung cancer. We gathered and analyzed information from employees and patients involved in the process by dedicated questionnaires. Further, we analyzed the patients’ data and calculated the diagnostic intervals for patients in two different periods.

Results. The major concerns among employees were stress and excessive administrative work. The important result of the visual journey and staff reports is the design of electronic diagnostic clinical pathway (eDCP), which could substantially increase safety and efficacy by diminishing the administrative burden of the employees. The patients were generally highly satisfied with diagnostic journey, but reported too long waiting times. By analyzing two time periods, we revealed that diagnostic intervals exceeded the recommended timelines and got importantly shorter after two interventions - strengthening the diagnostic team and specially by purchase of additional PET CT machine (the average time from GP referral to the MDT treatment decision was 50.8 (±3.0) prior and 37.1 (±2.3) days after the interventions).

Conclusions. This study illuminates opportunities for refining the diagnostic journey for lung cancer patients, underscoring the importance of both administrative and capacity-related enhancements.




How to Cite

Marc Malovrh, M., & Adamič, K. (2024). Unravelling the Lung Cancer Diagnostic Pathway: Identifying Gaps and Opportunities for Improvement. Radiology and Oncology, 58(2), 268–278. Retrieved from https://radioloncol.com/index.php/ro/article/view/4275



Clinical oncology