Nov 07, 2017
This is the fourth 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 1, part 2, and part 3.
ASCO’s vision is inherently global: “A world where cancer is prevented or cured, and every survivor is healthy.” Reflecting this vision, ASCO has a robust portfolio of programs around the world that improve access to quality cancer care, support cancer care professionals and leaders, and accelerate innovative cancer research.
As part of this strategy, ASCO has been expanding internationally both the Quality Oncology Practice Initiative (QOPI®) and QOPI® Certification ProgramTM. QOPI Certification is designed for those practices that have been performing at a high level.
At present, QOPI is available in the following areas outside the U.S.:
- European Union (all countries)
- Saudi Arabia
- United Arab Emirates
The application process for the QOPI Certification Program (for which there is a cost based on ASCO expenses related to certifying your practice) is now open in Greece, Brazil, Romania, and Spain. The program is exploring an expansion to the Middle East and India as part of an ASCO initiative to assess where and how the Society can make QOPI Certification available.
In June 2016, ASCO announced that the Contemporary Oncology Team of Athens, Greece, had become the first practice outside the United States to receive QOPI Certification. In April 2017, Instituto de Oncologia do Vale in Brazil became the second QOPI Certified practice outside the U.S.. Five months, later, three practices in Spain received certification under a collaborative agreement with the Foundation for Excellence and Quality in Oncology (ECO), a nonprofit foundation in Spain:
- Servicio de Oncología Medica - Hospital Universitario General de Valencia – Valencia
- Servicio de Oncología Medica - Instituto Valenciano de Oncología – Valencia
- Servicio de Oncología Medica - Hospital Universitario Ramón y Cajal – Madrid.
If you are interested in QOPI Certification for your practice, please fill out our International Interest Survey to help us determine when/if we can offer QOPI Certification to your practice.
ASCO International Portfolio of Programs
The expansion of QOPI internationally is part of a much broader portfolio of ASCO international programs that improve access to quality cancer care around the world. Other quality improvement programs include:
- International Training Workshops: Working with oncology societies around the world, ASCO provides essential training to specialists and generalists in multidisciplinary cancer management, palliative care, cancer prevention and screening, and other topics.
- International Cancer Corps: Teams of ASCO volunteers work with colleagues in cancer centers in low- and middle-income countries to improve the delivery of cancer care at their institutions.
- City Cancer Challenge: ASCO is working with the Union for International Cancer Control and others to systematically improve cancer control and cancer care delivery in major urban centers in low- and middle-income countries.
- ASCO Resource-Stratified Guidelines: Each of these quality improvement programs are informed by evidence-based ASCO guidelines, including a growing library of resource-stratified guidelines that are adapted for resource-limited practice settings.
These quality improvement programs are further supported by ASCO international programs in the areas of professional development and cancer research:
- Professional development: ASCO pairs early-career oncologists outside the United States with senior ASCO member mentors with similar professional interests and provides them with support and opportunities to work with ASCO to enhance cancer control in their countries.
- Cancer research: ASCO and its philanthropic affiliate, the Conquer Cancer Foundation, provide grants and fellowships to support research in low- and middle-income countries:
- The Long-term International Fellowship (LIFe) provides early-career oncologists in low- and middle-income countries with the support and resources needed to advance their training by deepening their relationship with a mentor in the United States, Canada, or the European Union over a 1-year fellowship.
- International Innovation Grants fund research to support novel and innovative projects that have the potential to significantly improve cancer control in low- and middle-income countries by reducing the cancer burden in local communities and/or are transferable to other low- or middle-income settings.
- The new Global Oncology Young Investigator Award funds research by early-career investigators to encourage and promote quality research in global oncology and to develop the next generation of researchers to address global health needs.