Applications Open for Komen Funding to Participate in ASCO’s Quality Offerings

Opportunity Open to Urban Practices Treating African-American Patients With Breast Cancer
August 5, 2019
patient receiving IV chemotherapy from nurse

Applications are now open for oncology practices in 11 specific U.S. urban centers with high proportions of African-American patients with breast cancer to participate in ASCO’s Quality Oncology Practice Initiative (QOPI®), QOPI® Certification, and Quality Training Program (QTP). Susan G. Komen® is providing training and funding support. The application period closes on October 30.

As Susan G. Komen® notes, “Breast cancer disparities for African-American women are startling. In 2012 (most recent data available), breast cancer mortality was 42 percent higher for African-American women in the U.S. than Caucasian women. Additionally, African-American women are often diagnosed with late-stage breast cancer when treatment options are limited and costly and the prognosis is poor.”[i]

As part of the solution to change these outcomes, Susan G. Komen® and ASCO are partnering to provide training in identifying and solving problems that practices face in treating this patient population through participation and coaching in ASCO Quality Programs.

Susan G. Komen® has generously provided funding, “Bringing Quality Care Training to Komen’s African-American Health Equity Initiative,” as part of their African-American Health Equity Initiative to cover expenses for practice staff at 10 practices to participate in these programs. The practices must be located in one of the following metropolitan areas:

  • Atlanta
  • Baltimore
  • Chicago
  • Dallas/Fort Worth
  • Houston
  • Los Angeles/Long Beach
  • Memphis, Tennessee
  • Philadelphia
  • St. Louis
  • Virginia Beach, Virginia
  • Washington, D.C.

Applicants will be evaluated based on pertinent information about the practice/institution and the patient population served by the practice, as well as, leadership support.

The three-year funding would allow practices to participate in the continuum of quality improvement initiatives ASCO offers, beginning with a site assessment and report to improve cancer care delivery. With the report completed, practices would receive training on how to abstract chart data into QOPI® and then begin doing so.

QOPI® is ASCO’s quality assessment program that has helped more than 1,000 practices to date conduct self-examination and identify specific areas for quality improvement. Participating practices can report on more than 170 evidence-based quality measures through the easy-to-use collection tool and receive individual performance scores by practice, site, and provider, as well as benchmarked scores aggregated from all participating practices. The data and results then can be used to inform future quality improvement projects and initiatives.

Once the practice meets or exceeds a benchmark QOPI® score on measures that compared the quality of their care against national standards, they can take the next step of applying for QOPI Certification. This entails undergoing an on-site review and peer review by a select team of oncology professionals to evaluate its performance in areas that affect patient care and safety, including:

  • Qualifications of practice staff
  • Chart documentation
  • Chemotherapy preparation and administration
  • Patient monitoring and assessment
  • Preparedness for emergency situations.

Finally, the practice would participate in both the six-month and one-day versions of ASCO’s QTP course. The six-month course is comprised of three in-person sessions that include seminars, case examples, and small-group exercises combined with on-site work at the practice and virtual meetings with ASCO staff. The one-day course will provide each site and their extended teams with an introduction to the tools and frameworks used in quality improvement and how to effectively lead or participate in improvement activities.

As part of these courses, each practice’s core team will complete an independent project, putting their quality improvement skills into action, and participate in a Learning Collaborative with the other practices that examines common issues important to each practice’s health. The Learning Collaborative will help to identify and disseminate lessons learned for improving quality of care among the practices and create an opportunity for mentorship.

The QTP brings cancer care teams together to select, design, and implement a quality improvement project at their practices, and it is aimed at all oncology specialties, as well as diverse practice types and institutional settings. Experienced improvement coaches who are renowned practitioners in oncology and quality improvement are assigned to help guide the teams. More than 100 teams have completed the program to date, and there is a library of past projects from participants who have completed the program.

Practices that participate in the QOPI Certification Program and QTP are eligible for various continuing education credits.

Fill out an application today; the deadline is October 30.

For more information, please contact the QTP team.


[i] “Black/African-Americans and Breast Cancer.” Komen Foundation. Accessed June 7, 2019.