week 19 - Happy new year and time for the Oslo cancer clinic to set new goals

Written by Lars Haakon Soraas

Week 19 in the war on cancer has passed, as have the year 2015. Happy New Year to everyone!
Dyanne’s cough is still hanging around and she has not felt great the last few days. We will do a new “nose test” tomorrow to see if it may be some bacteria or virus causing it. A lot of people in Norway has this kind of cough at this time of the year, but it is nevertheless not any fun. Hope it will soon go away.
Dyanne also went to the pharmacy this week and picked up the following medicines: celecoxib, ritonavir, spironolactone, dapson, itraconazole, clarithromycin, disulfiram and warfarin. Is this the way to beat lung cancer? We don’t know, and neither does anyone else. However, each of the medicines have some evidence to suggest they may have an anticancer effect. The idea is that the sum of some, or all, of these medicines will be a potent anticancer cocktail. The cocktail is researched by my brother Arne and Kast Richard E and is designed specifically for lung cancer and partly personalized for Dyanne. Input has also been received from Dr Rosell and Niki. The plan is to start this once Dyanne is feeling a bit better.
In other news: I asked the Oslo Universitetssykehus if they could send me the strategy and targets they have for the cancer clinic (which is part of the “Cancer, surgery and transplantation clinic”). Just before Christmas, I got a nice leaflet from them summarizing their strategy and targets. Apart from a lot of nice blah blah (“patients should find updated and good information on our website” and “personalized medicine”) they did also have some quantitative and measurable targets. The attached photo their shows their targets (in Norwegian only).
Do they have any target to improve survival among cancer patients? Of course not! They have much more important things to care about. They have a target that 85% of employees should fill in the emplyee satisfaction survey. And they have a target that there should be 2584 people working there. And a target for number of divisions and institutes (presumably to protect the turf of some people and bosses). They do actually have some targets linked to patients. For instance: hospital stays should be 336716. Don’t know how they count this or if it is good or bad if they manage more than this. But it is at least linked to patients.
What is striking is that none of the targets are linked to the only thing that really matters: patient outcomes. Employee satisfaction is apparently important. Patient survival and satisfaction is obviously not. It is sad how our health care system seems to have forgotten the reason it exists.

week 19
Norwegian minister of health, Bent Høie, likes to say that “patients should be at the center”. He certainly has a lot left to do.
Thanks to brother Arne and Kast Richard E for coocking up the drug cocktail. Thanks to grandparents for helping us move and assemble IKEA furniture and, of course, babysitting. And thanks to Dyanne for a very nice Christmas present smile emoticon
PS: We have moved. Our new address is Pontoppidans gate 9b, 0462 Oslo, Norway. Please note we don’t send Christmas cards to anyone (but thanks to those who sent to us anyway). We have much more space for guests than before. So if you would like to help us cook, clean or babysit, feel free to drop by anytime.

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