The Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center of Northwestern University has been recognized by the Quality Oncology Practice Initiative (QOPI) Certification Program, an affiliate of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO). The QOPI Certification Program provides a three-year certification for outpatient hematology-oncology practices that meet the highest standards for quality cancer care.
"Cancer patients and their families should expect nothing less than accountability and the highest standards from their cancer care providers," said Allen S. Lichter, MD, CEO of ASCO and President of the QOPI Certification Program. "QOPI participation reflects a commitment to quality of care that leads to fundamental changes in the clinical practice of oncology. Oncology practices that commit to quality and safety are those that provide the most optimal cancer care. The Certification Program helps practices determine whether they are providing the best treatment and care possible to their patients, and demonstrates a commitment to excellence and ongoing quality improvement in the hematology-oncology outpatient practice."
QOPI is a voluntary, self-assessment and improvement program launched by ASCO in 2006 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' records up to twice per year and enter this information into a secure database.
The QOPI Certification Program (QCP) was launched in January 2010. The first 16 practices were certified just six months later, and the program reached a milestone of more than 100 certified practices in just under two years. This certification for outpatient oncology practices is the first program of its kind for oncology in the United States. Oncologists can achieve certification by demonstrating practice consistent with the highest standards of care. The QCP seal designates those practices that not only scored high on the key QOPI quality measures, but meet rigorous safety measures established by ASCO and the Oncology Nursing Society (ONS).
The Lurie Cancer Center and Northwestern Medical Faculty Foundation are deeply committed to providing the highest standard of compassionate, patient-focused cancer care. "We're proud to receive this recognition from ASCO," said Steven Rosen, MD, Director of the Lurie Cancer Center.
QOPI analyzes individual practice data and compares these to more than 100 evidence-based and consensus quality measures. The information is then provided in reports to participating practices. Individual practices are also able to compare their performance to data from other practices across the country. Based on this feedback, doctors and practices can identify areas for improvement.
To become certified, practices have to submit to an evaluation of their entire practice and documentation standards. The QCP staff and steering group members then verify that the evaluation and documents are correct and that the practices met core standards in all areas of treatment, including:
- 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.