To bridge gaps in cancer care quality in culturally and ethnically diverse communities, the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) utilized its Quality Oncology Practice Initiative (QOPI®) and Quality Training Program (QTP) to serve as the foundation of a multi-pronged improvement methodology. This was made possible with funding from the Stavros Niarchos Foundation and the Susan G. Komen Foundation.
In 2015, ASCO launched an initiative to bring quality improvement training to four oncology practices that served medically underserved populations. The goals for the program were:
Assess the quality of oncology care to understand the challenges to providing patient navigation, access to care, and education.
Use the training of QTP to complete an improvement project.
Implement a quality program based on QOPI, a national program that collects data on strengths and weaknesses on the processes of care.
The program achieved its 3 goals: the projects ameliorated some assessed needs of this population; the practices achieved QOPI certification which provides ongoing assessment of processes. With the success of this first cohort of grantees, both Niarchos and Komen provided additional funding for more teams which are in the second year of a three-and-a-half-year term. Participating sites have currently graduated from QTP, launched a quality improvement project, and completed a 6-month QOPI round.
The projects and first QOPI round provided baseline assessment of current performance. Given the success of the project, ASCO expanded the initiative in other areas participating in Susan G. Komen Foundation’s African American Health Equity Initiative. The renewed Niarchos funding provided for the expansion of the program from 4 teams to 10 teams. ASCO staff and quality coaches continue to work with each team to identify potential areas for improvement, help teams publish their quality work, and recommend priorities for action for the duration of both programs.