American Society of Clinical Oncology Quality Care Symposium

First launched in 2012, the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Quality Care Symposium brings together a multidisciplinary faculty to educate attendees on the latest innovations and collaborations in quality measurement and health services research. The symposium program includes educational sessions, panel discussions, study presentations, and poster sessions with participants sharing strategies to address value in quality intervention, implementation of patient-centered care in clinical practice, avoiding common quality pitfalls, and disparities in cancer care.

Attending physicians, researchers, patient advocates, health system administrators, nurses, pharmacists, and other health care professionals can expect to gain insight into the measurement and improvement of cancer care. This is specifically accomplished through discussions of best practices and value-creation strategies, reviews of innovative tools, and comparative analyses of care models and team-based approaches. 

Sessions at the 2018 ASCO Quality Care Symposium centered around closing the gap between current and optimum care coordination in oncology practice. As explained by ASCO in their 2018 program, “Quality reporting programs increasingly affect oncology practices; however, gaps in knowledge regarding the specifics of these programs and their impact on quality persist, along with the expanding use of electronic health records (EHRs) in quality improvement efforts. As oncology care teams become increasingly interdisciplinary, awareness of how expanding provider roles and perspectives impacts to team-based care is critical to team performance success.”

Within this theme, the keynote presentation was given by Monika K Krzyzanowska, MD, MPH, FRCPC, of the Princess Margaret Cancer Center in Toronto, Canada, and titled, “Common Pitfalls in Quality Improvement and How to Avoid Them.” Dr Krzyzanowska’s clinical work has focused on the treatment of gastrointestinal and endocrine malignancies, and her research projects focus on specific quality issues, such as drug safety and management of treatment-related toxicity.

Below are other notable studies that were presented at the meeting.


Financial Toxicity a Major Concern in Metastatic Breast Cancer, Regardless of Insurance

Another study presented at the ASCO Quality Care Symposium suggests that while patients with metastatic breast cancer often face a substantial financial burden, health insurance expansion is a “necessary but insufficient strategy” to address this burden.

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Dana-Farber Cancer Institute Analyzes Clinical Pathway Use to Reduce Unwarranted Variation

Researchers at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute analyzed off-pathway cases to reduce unwarranted variation, understand practice patterns, and update their clinical pathways.

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Adherence to NCCN Guidelines for Neoadjuvant Breast Cancer Treatment Improves Outcomes

A study assessed whether adherence to NCCN guidelines for neoadjuvant breast cancer treatment correlated with increased rates of pathologic complete response and breast conservation surgery.

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