ASCO Quality Care Symposium

Value-based medical care continues to gain traction in the oncology sphere, and tools for the developing, measuring, and implementing value measures in clinical practice are needed. The rapid introduction of new cancer therapies further necessitates constant improvement in this area of practice. To this end, ASCO—the premier professional society for oncologists in the United States—hosts an annual Quality Care Symposium, which features original research, panel discussions, and lectures pertaining to issues surrounding quality and safety in cancer care.

The 2017 ASCO Quality Care Symposium highlighted clinical pathway development through a partnership with Journal of Oncology Practice, an ASCO-affiliated publication. For the first time, Journal of Oncology Practice simultaneously published three studies pertaining to clinical pathways that were presented during the meeting. These studies included a cost and survival analysis conducted at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute (Boston, MA) prior to and following the implementation of clinical pathways for individuals with stage IV non-small cell lung cancer, which found that the use of clinical pathways reduced cost of care by up to $15,000, with no compromise in clinical outcomes1; a clinical pathway designed to reduce errors in chemotherapy delivery through the utilization of improvement science2; and a utilization management program designed to reduce overuse of colony-stimulating factors in patients receiving chemotherapy for lung cancer.3

“The research presented at ASCO’s Quality Care Symposium enhances our understanding of a wide variety of methods to measure and improve cancer care,” John V Cox, DO, MBA, FACP, FASCO, professor of internal medicine at UT Southwestern Medical Center (Dallas, TX) and editor-in-chief of Journal of Oncology Practice, said in a press release. “Research in topics like clinical pathways and patient safety represent significant quality research areas that affect day-to-day practice in oncology. The studies presented will provide oncology professionals with information to help them evaluate the care they deliver, improve quality, and lower costs.”


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1.    Jackman DM, Zhang Y, Dalby C, et al. Cost and survival analysis before and after implementation of Dana-Farber clinical pathways for patients with stage IV non-small cell lung cancer [published online March 4, 2017]. J Oncol Pract. doi:10.1200/JOP.2017.021741

2.    Weiss BD, Scott M, Demmel K, Kotagal UR, Perentesis JP, Walsh KE. Significant and sustained reduction in chemotherapy errors through improvement science [published online March 4, 2017]. J Oncol Pract. doi:10.1200/JOP.2017.020842

3.    Adeboyeje G, Agiro A, Malin J, Fisch MK, DeVries A. Reducing overuse of colony-stimulating factors in patients with lung cancer receiving chemotherapy: evidence from a decision support-enabled program [published online March 4, 2017]. J Oncol Pract. doi:10.1200/JOP.2017.020867