Episode 14 - Quality Initiatives in Medical Oncology

Despite the lack of an established set of measures to evaluate quality of care in medical oncology, Peter Salgo, MD; John L. Fox, MD, MHA; Michael Kolodziej, MD; and Bryan Loy, MD, note that initiatives that emphasize collaboration among stakeholders and ask healthcare providers to measure and report data from their clinical practices can be valuable in helping improve overall quality of patient care.

The American Society of Clinical Oncology’s Quality Oncology Practice Initiative and the ABIM Foundation’s Choosing Wisely initiative have already proved beneficial, especially in terms of improving end-of-life care, remarks Dr Kolodziej.

The concept of asking providers to measure their own data and report on their own findings can be valuable, adds Dr Loy. This information can be used along with a collaborative approach to address gaps in patient care.

Dr Fox discusses important strategies for implementing quality improvement programs, and notes that first and foremost, there must be consensus among stakeholders on how to define quality. Additionally, payers need to agree to reimburse for a single standard of quality. Identifying issues that matter and that can be measured is critical. Finding a way to pay for quality care is an additional challenge, comments Dr Fox.

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