Mar 27, 2019
ASCO is collaborating with Fundación ECO para la Excelencia y la Calidad de la Oncología to bring the 1st Oncology Quality Care Symposium™ to Spain, in support of ASCO’s broader efforts to connect the global community of cancer care providers. ASCO licensed its annual Quality Care Symposium to Fundación ECO, an organization of Spanish oncologists, marking the first time the Society has licensed one of its thematic symposia to another organization, either in the U.S. or globally. The 1st Oncology Quality Care Symposium will be held in Madrid from November 15-16, 2019.
“ECO works toward excellence in cancer care for all oncology practices in Spain through educational meetings, guidelines, and measures,” said Fundación ECO executive director Álvaro Rogado. “There are not many cross-functional meetings in Spain so an event that allows oncology care providers to discuss research specifically dedicated to improving the quality of cancer care is new and will be practically useful for improving day-to-day care.”
ASCO’s Quality Care Symposium brings together leaders in the field and members of the oncology care team to share strategies and methods for improving the measurement and implementation of quality and safety in cancer care. The symposium features invited experts, panel discussions, and abstract presentations with the objective of promoting innovation, collaboration, and cooperation in cancer-focused quality measurement and improvement, and health services research.
“Most quality programs in Europe are aimed at decreasing costs and reducing bureaucracy, not on improving the quality of care for patients. This symposium could help shift the conversation,” said Dr. Rafael Lopez, Fundación ECO Board of Directors and QOPI program lead. “In addition, the multidisciplinary approach of having the whole oncology care team represented is another great aspect of this symposium.”
ASCO and Fundación ECO have been collaborating for years on various quality initiatives. Their collective work began with the introduction of ASCO’s Quality Oncology Practice Initiative (QOPI®) to Spain in 2015. To the date four Spanish practices achieved QOPI Certification: Complejo Hospitalario Universitario Santiago; Hospital Universitario General de Valencia; Hospital Universitario Ramón y Cajal de Madrid and Instituto Valenciano de Oncología. A fifth practice, Hospital Universitario Central Astrurias has already done the onsite and the certification is pending. Later, the two organizations collaborated to bring ASCO’s 6-month Quality Training Program to Spain, with the first sessions held in Madrid in October 2018.
Since the Fundación ECO’s inception, it has led and supported various initiatives to guarantee the quality of cancer care in Spain. Its mission is to achieve excellence and quality in oncology by searching for and developing solutions and tools. In 2017 the foundation recognized ASCO with an ECO Special Award for “best initiative in quality care in oncology” for the Society’s QOPI® and QOPI® Certification programs and its work in bringing them to Spain. The annual award is for a person or organization that has significantly advanced the discipline of medical oncology quality in one of three areas: patient care, specialized medical education, and clinical research.
In addition to Spain, QOPI is currently available in 35 countries plus the U.S. and its territories: Argentina, Australia, Brazil, all countries in the European Union, India, Pakistan, the Philippines, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates. Beyond Spain, there are also QOPI Certified practices in Brazil, Greece, Romania, and Saudi Arabia.
“We are grateful for Fundación ECO’s enthusiasm and commitment to bringing a number of ASCO quality care initiatives to Spain,” said ASCO vice president of clinical affairs Dr. Stephen S. Grubbs. “It will be exciting to see what research is presented at the 1st Oncology Quality Care Symposium and the ways in which oncology practitioners and patients across Spain will benefit from this knowledge-sharing.”
The annual U.S. Quality Care Symposium will be held September 5-7, 2019, in San Diego.