ASCO Celebrates Healthcare Quality Week and Recognizes New Initiatives from 2018

October 24, 2018

This year we celebrate Healthcare Quality Week October 21–26, a time dedicated to celebrating the contributions professionals have made to improve health care quality. For 2018, ASCO is using this time to recognize practices—and the individuals on their oncology care teams—that have participated in offerings and expansions in several Society programs aimed at improving the quality of cancer care. ASCO leadership and staff are grateful to these practices, and we offer them our congratulations.

Quality Oncology Practice Initiative (QOPI®)

QOPI®, which ASCO established more than 10 years ago, is a voluntary self-assessment and improvement program to help hematology-oncology and medical oncology practices assess the quality of the care they provide to patients. Through the QOPI program, practices abstract data from patients’ medical records up to twice per year and enter this information into a secure database. At present, more than 1,000 oncology practices have registered for the QOPI program.

In January, ASCO and the American Society for Radiation Oncology launched their joint registry that tracks the quality of medical care provided to patients receiving cancer treatment. In addition to improving the quality of care for people living with cancer, the QOPI® Reporting Registry also makes it easier for medical and radiation oncologists to report quality-related performance metrics required by the federal government. Specifically, practices can submit their data to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services’ Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS).

The registry features an easy-to-use dashboard through which practices can:

Learn more about and sign up for the registry.

QOPI® Certification Program, LLC

QOPI practices also have the opportunity to apply for certification. The QOPI Certification Program, which began in 2010, offers specialty certification to outpatient oncology practices demonstrating commitment to quality. Each practice completes a comprehensive, voluntary assessment of its site against specified standards that are consistent with national guidelines. Those practices that earn the QOPI Certification Program (QCP™) designation have scored well on key QOPI® quality measures and have met chemotherapy safety standards established by ASCO and the Oncology Nursing Society in areas of treatment that include:

  • Treatment planning
  • Staff training and education
  • Chemotherapy orders and drug preparation
  • Patient consent and education
  • Safe chemotherapy administration
  • Monitoring and assessment of patient well-being.

Practices outside the U.S. can also apply for QOPI certification and two have accomplished this feat in 2018. In January, Clinica AMO—located in Salvador, Bahia, on Brazil’s east coast—became the second Brazilian practice to complete the program for outpatient hematology-oncology practices that meet nationally recognized standards for quality cancer care.

In June, Complejo Hospitalario located in Santiago, Spain achieved QOPI Certification. Two months later, The Medisprof Cancer Center, an outpatient hematology-oncology practice located in Cluj, became the first Romanian practice to achieve QOPI Certification.

These three practices joined the five other practices outside the United States that hold QOPI Certification:

  • Contemporary Oncology Team – Athens, Greece, had become the first international practice to receive QOPI Certification.
  • Instituto de Oncologia do Vale – São José dos Campos, Brazil
  • Servicio de Oncología Medica - Hospital Universitario General de Valencia – Valencia, Spain
  • Servicio de Oncología Medica - Hospital Universitario Ramón y Cajal – Madrid, Spain
  • Servicio de Oncología Medica - Instituto Valenciano de Oncología – Valencia, Spain.

Additionally, in August 2018, the Georgia Cancer Center for Excellence (GCCE) at Grady Memorial Hospital in Atlanta became the first recipient of the Improving the Delivery of Cancer Care in Medically Underserved Communities Grant Program, made Possible by the Stavros Niarchos Foundation, to receive QOPI® Certification.

Nearly 300 practices worldwide have current QOPI Certification. View the map of these practices.

Quality Training Program (QTP)

This year has held several milestones for the QTP, which is designed to train oncology health care providers to investigate and implement data-driven quality improvement and manage clinical and non-clinical processes and outcomes. The program brings cancer care teams together to select, design, and implement a quality improvement project at their practices.

Traditionally the program has had a six-month format, with three in-person sessions being held over this period, with additional work taking place at the participating practices in the interim. In the Spring, the QTP rolled out its new one-day course, which introduces tools and frameworks used in quality improvement, enables attendees to effectively lead or participate in improvement activities. It is customized to each practice’s needs and requirements and led by the same esteemed faculty of the traditional six-month course. The workshop is aimed at empowering oncology providers with skills in quality improvement to reduce clinical variation and improve patient outcomes. After the workshop, participants will be able to:

  • Identify techniques and tools used in quality improvement
  • Identify relevant metrics
  • Structure a quality improvement project.

The QTP team also held its first international sessions this summer with Brazil’s Clinica AMO and the Oncology Center of Bahia, a unit of Oncoclínicas Group, hosting one-day sessions. Next week, the first of three full QTP sessions will be held in Madrid, also focusing on oral chemotherapy operations improvement. The ECO Foundation, which has partnered with ASCO in bringing the QOPI Certification Program to Spain, has been licensed to host and provide QTP training to local oncologists.

Finally, as of August the QTP reached the milestone of having had more than 100 teams from oncology practices around the U.S. and the world participate in the program. View the full list of the 101 teams.