Objectives: The main objective of this study is to determine the current use of lung cancer diagnostic procedures in two large hospitals in the Netherlands, to explore deviations in guideline adherence between the hospitals, and to estimate the budget impact of the diagnostic work-up as well as the over- and underutilization.
Materials & methods: A state transition model for the diagnostic pathway for lung cancer patients was developed using existing clinical practice guidelines (CPG) combined with a systematic literature. In addition to the CPGs depicting current practice, diagnostic utilization was gathered in two large hospitals representing an academic tertiary care hospital and a large regional teaching hospital for patients, who were selected from the Netherlands cancer registry.
Results: The total population consisted of 376 patients with lung cancer. Not in all cases the guideline was followed, for instance in the usage of MR brain with stage III lung cancer patients (n = 70). The state-transition model predicts an average budget impact for the diagnostic pathway per patient estimated of € 2496 in the academic tertiary care hospital and € 2191 in the large regional teaching hospital.
Conclusion: The adherence to the CPG’s differed between hospitals, which questions the adherence to CPG’s in general. Adherence to CPG’s could lead to less costs in the diagnostic pathway for lung cancer patients.