Jul 22, 2020
ASCO's Quality Oncology Practice Initiative (QOPI®) Certification Program (QCPTM) is an oncology practice-based quality assessment program designed to reward excellence in cancer care by helping practices conduct a self-examination and ensure that processes are in place to sustain high performance across multiple measures that are indicative of quality cancer care.
Practices that engage in QCP have already demonstrated strong performance through an evaluation of abstracted chart data submitted to the QOPI platform. Practice participants then provide additional documentation outlining processes that are in place to address the ASCO/Oncology Nursing Society Chemotherapy Administration Safety Standards, among others, and engage in an onsite survey confirming that processes are being executed consistently across the team.
Throughout this certification activity, significant learning occurs regarding the attributes of high-performing oncology teams, and internal processes are added or augmented to bring the practice into full alignment with those attributes.
QOPI participation and QCP are available to oncology practices around the world.
The Grupo Oncoclínicas Experience
Grupo Oncoclínicas, the largest comprehensive oncology care system in Latin America, was founded in 2010 in the Brazilian state of Minas Gerais by its current chair of the Board, Bruno Ferrari, MD, with a bold mission: Beat Cancer.
Oncoclínicas’ purpose is to ensure the best possible experience throughout the journey to fight cancer, providing compassion, integrity, and humanity along the way. With more than 2,500 employees and more than 850 physicians, Oncoclínicas provides a full range of services, including clinical oncology, radiotherapy, hematology, bone marrow transplantation, surgery, genetic and genomic diagnostics, multidisciplinary teams, clinical research trials, and continuing medical education for physicians and patients through Oncoclínicas Institute.
In her role as director of quality and patient experience at Oncoclínicas, Marcia Menezes, MD, found that her strong commitment to patients, quality of care, and safety aligned with the goals of QOPI Certification. Dr. Menezes shares Grupo Oncoclínicas’ experience working with ASCO’s International Quality Team to certify that cancer care is being delivered to the highest standards of quality and safety.
Tell us about Grupo Oncoclínicas. How many patients do you typically see each year? Where are you located across Brazil?
MM: Oncoclínicas is one of the biggest institutions in Latin America and the world in cancer treatment. Founded in 2010, Oncoclínicas has just celebrated its 10-year anniversary. A decade ago, there were nine staff members and one clinic. Now, in 2020, we manage 68 units in 11 states across Brazil, 850 doctors from the clinical staff, and thousands of specialists that currently care for more than 100,000 patients.
What lead you to pursue QOPI certification?
MM: ASCO’s QOPI Certification is a commitment to the best oncology practice in the world. The seal affirms the standard of care has been achieved in all areas—clinical, support, and management—and ensures the effective and global care of patients with cancer. The criteria adhere to a set of quality standards including safe environment, treatment planning, staff training and education, safe chemotherapy administration, and monitoring and assessment of patient well-being after chemotherapy (adherence, toxicity, and complications), among others.
The fight against cancer is a very sensitive time that depends on the right combination of factors to ensure successful treatment. In addition to advanced and individualized therapeutic approaches, optimal patient care requires a welcoming environment, humanism, adequate infrastructure, and medical, nursing, and integrated comfort care staff.
Our mission at Oncoclínicas is to beat cancer; therefore, we must implement and achieve the most demanding safety standards and international practices.
How did the ASCO International Quality Team support you in the QOPI Certification process?
MM: The ASCO International Quality Team is truly an amazing team. They gave us great support during the whole process, helping us with standard policies, procedures, and practices. During the QOPI Certification onsite survey, ASCO sent us a great professional who inspired all of us to always improve our practices and to be proud of our work.
Tell us how you organized your QOPI champions and weekly QOPI calls, and what worked best as you prepared for the QOPI Certification survey?
MM: Oncoclínicas works to ensure the best practices in oncology. All our clinics have dedicated quality and patient experience professionals, following worldwide standards. For the QOPI Certification process, we assigned a QOPI project leader and a team of physician champions dedicated to each of the clinics to participate in the QOPI program and to follow all QOPI Certification standards.
Grupo Oncoclínicas selected six strategic sites in five Brazilian states as a cohort to participate in QOPI Certification. The teams included QOPI champions of physicians, pharmacists, nurses, and psychologists. The teams met weekly for a QOPI call, fully committed to the overall process success in achieving their QOPI Certification. The QOPI teams were established in July 2019 to achieve QOPI Certification by spring 2020. Cross-team collaboration and site meetings were key to bring every practice to the same level and to be trained in the new policies that we developed during the QOPI Certification readiness process.
During the QOPI Certification process, Oncoclínicas saw an opportunity to re-evaluate all of its established and recognized standards and procedures across its presence in Brazil. The process allowed the dedicated team and the organization as a whole to exchange experiences during QOPI Certification readiness. The pursuit of QOPI Certification was a time to reaffirm our vision of being a world leader in quality oncology treatment, combining a highly qualified clinical team, the most state-of-the-art therapies and technologies, and the delivery of individualized care to our patients with the maximum compassion, integrity, and excellence.
What was the result of all this effort?
MM: I’m delighted to share that the practices met the requirements and QOPI Certification was awarded to all six sites. The sites are listed below with their Oncoclinicas QOPI physician champions.
- Oncoclínicas Botafogo, Rio de Janeiro; Dr. Tatiane Caldas Montella
- Centro de Tratamento Oncológico Ipanema, Rio de Janeiro; Dr. Daniele Ferreira Neves
- Centro Paulista De Oncologia, Sao Paulo; Dr. Mariana Tosello Laloni
- NOB – Núcleo de Oncologia da Bahia, Salvador; Dr. Erico Strapasson
- Oncocentro De Minas Gerais Belo Horizonte; Dr. Pedro Ribeiro Santos
- Oncoclínicas Recife, Pernambuco; Dr. Felipe Marinho