During this segment, Peter Salgo, MD; Ira M. Klein, MD, MBA, FACP; Michael Kolodziej, MD; Bryan Loy, MD; and Irwin W. Tischler, DO, explain why it has been difficult to establish a core set of quality measures in cancer care. The panelists also discuss the importance of adopting a patient-centered approach to care within healthcare practices.
Despite efforts by various organizations, including the American Society of Clinical Oncology, to develop quality measures to help evaluate and improve quality of care, Drs Kolodziej and Loy note that a lack of harmonization across measures from different organizations creates a challenge. Dr Kolodziej comments that a few areas have been recognized as important by multiple organizations, including emergency department utilization, hospitalization rates, and end-of-life care; however, there is little harmony in terms of other quality measures. Drs Kolodziej and Salgo add that it is necessary to report not only on what is important, but also on what is practical.
Dr Klein explains that the patient-centered approach to care is an extremely important topic to explore during discussions about quality, especially as oncology treatments become more individualized and tailored to each patient.
Dr Tischler remarks that once a patient-centered approach has been established, physicians can alter their practice to better serve the needs of their patients, which can result in better-quality care. Dr Klein notes that the patient-centered approach and the oncology medical home approach can help in achieving the best possible outcomes.