National Cancer Institute
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Outcomes Research Branch
Cancer Control and Population Sciences


NQF Supplement: Toward a Comprehensive Cancer Measure Set -- Episodes of Care

In May 2008, The NCI and the National Quality Forum (NQF) co-sponsored a workshop, "Towards a Comprehensive Cancer Measure Set: Value-based Episodes of Care", in Washington, DC. The purpose of the workshop was to create an action plan for the development of the next generation of cancer measures, building upon a gap analysis of needed measures, and discuss a new comprehensive measurement strategy for evaluating quality and efficiency across episodes of care in cancer.

The workshop was a major follow-up to the Cancer Quality Measures Project (CanQual), which identified priority areas for cancer quality measure development, and recommended a core set of performance measures for breast cancer diagnosis/treatment, colorectal cancer diagnosis/treatment, and symptom management and end-of-life care.

Workshop participants:

  • Identified quality gaps in cancer care and described the current state of quality measurement in cancer care, focusing on limitations of existing performance measures.
  • Focused on articulating and analyzing a new framework for quality measurement based on "episodes of care." This patient-centered perspective goes beyond existing quality measurement frameworks in emphasizing care transitions and coordination and the shared contribution of multiple care providers to the overall quality of care over time.
  • Discussed next steps in developing and operationalizing this new measurement framework.

Workshop proceedings will inform a white paper on strategic research directions in cancer performance measurement, co-authored by Peter Bach, MD, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, and Michael Hassett, MD, MPH, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. The paper, which assesses the current state of research in measuring the quality of cancer care delivery and outlines future directions, is expected to be available in Spring 2009.

Last modified:
04 Dec 2008
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