ASCO’s Longstanding Commitment to Quality

Oct 17, 2017

This is the first in a five-part series of articles that will focus on ASCO’s various quality care offerings for practices and the Quality Oncology Practice Initiative (QOPI®) in particular. Read part 2.

As we celebrate Healthcare Quality Week (Oct. 15-21), honoring the contributions professionals have made in the field and bringing greater awareness to the profession of health care quality, we recognize the many ASCO members who, along with their colleagues, have participated in various ASCO quality initiatives.

Throughout ASCO’s history, the Society has been dedicated to high-quality oncology care. In fact, its mission is “Conquering cancer through research, education, and promotion of the highest quality patient care.”

To help fulfill this mission, ASCO offers a variety of quality care initiatives to its members and public:

  • CancerLinQ®—ASCO’s software platform, which will harness the power of big data to deliver high-quality care to patients with cancer. The goal for CancerLinQ is to allow oncology care providers to improve the quality and value of care by analyzing millions of patient medical records, uncovering patterns and trends, and measuring their care against that of their peers and recommended guidelines. To date, CancerLinQ has more than 100 participating practices across a broad range of care settings and geographic distribution that are actively or in the process of contributing data.
  • Guidelines—Clinical practice guidelines serve as a guide for doctors and outline appropriate methods of treatment and care. They can address specific clinical situations (disease-oriented) or use of approved medical products, procedures, or tests (modality-oriented). Each year, ASCO reviews guideline topic proposals from ASCO members. Those developed and published are regularly reviewed for their accuracy and validity. ASCO’s first guideline, which focused on the use of hematopoietic colony-stimulating factors, was published in 1994.
  • Quality Oncology Practice Initiative (QOPI®)—ASCO began offering QOPI (an oncologist-led, practice-based quality assessment program designed to promote excellence in cancer care by helping practices create a culture of self-examination and improvement) to its members in 2006. QOPI provides a standard methodology, a robust library of quality metrics for oncology, and a collection tool to reliably and routinely assess care, inform quality improvement activities, and demonstrate quality to patients and external stakeholders. QOPI users also are well-positioned to meet external reporting requirements for payers and the government and participate in new payment models focused on quality.
  • QOPI Certification Program—This program, launched in January 2010, provides a 3-year certification recognizing high-quality care for outpatient hematology-oncology practices within the United States and is currently piloting an international program. Practices receive QOPI Certification based on their full compliance with the QOPICertification Standards as assessed during an on-site survey. The standards serve as a benchmark for quality in the safe ordering, preparation, administration, and documentation of chemotherapy.
  • Quality Training Program—Launched in October 2013, this program is designed to train oncology health care providers to investigate and implement data-driven quality improvement and manage clinical and administrative processes and outcomes. The comprehensive 6-month program brings oncology teams of together to create and facilitate an improvement project. Each team selects a project that will solve a problem in its own clinical setting, so the learning experience is simultaneously fostering a solution or best practice.

Learn more about ASCO’s Quality and Guidelines programs.

In the next article, we go into more detail about  QOPI, ASCO's quality assessment program designed to promote excellence in cancer care.

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