Sep 30, 2016
Two recent Journal of Global Oncology (JGO) articles highlight the international reach of ASCO's Quality Oncology Practice Initiative (QOPI®) and QOPI Certification.
JGO published the article “QOPI International, or How to Globalize Quality?” which discusses the Contemporary Oncology Team of Athens at Hygeia Hospital’s experience using QOPI and becoming the first international QOPI-certified practice.
Author Evangelia D. Razis, MD, PhD, notes that Hygeia Hospital’s certification was part of a long effort of quality improvement, which yielded the realization that ensuring patient safety is a team effort that entailed involving all health care personnel collectively in quality efforts and addressing both medical and psychosocial needs.
QOPI provides oncology practices with a tool for self-evaluation and benchmarking of the care delivered, however, as QOPI expands beyond the United States, Dr. Razis highlights important considerations, such as the fact that ethical concepts can vary from country to country.
Despite these differences, oncologists everywhere are united by their desire to provide better care for their patients. Given this shared foundation, Dr. Razis concludes that “ASCO should keep QOPI’s basic structure and values but work with the international community to adapt the measures, to some extent, to match the health care systems, cultures, etc., of other parts of the world.”
Also published in JGO is “Quality Oncology Practice Initiative Can Guide and Improve Oncology Providers’ Training in Brazil,” which outlines a study showing how QOPI measures were used to examine the care of patients with breast, colorectal, lymphoma, gynecology, and lung cancers at a Brazilian public university hospital.
Although it was comprised of a small sample of medical records, the study demonstrates how QOPI guidelines and measures were utilized to reveal both the strengths and weaknesses of a Brazilian oncology clinic, as well as guidance on areas of care that need improvement. The authors found that, in general, patients received the recommended care with appropriate documentation for cancer diagnosis and stage, chemotherapy planning, administration, and summary. However, some gaps in care that were identified.
The routine use of QOPI measures in Brazil will bring oncology practices in line with the goal to provide comprehensive cancer care to all patients.