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Abstract - Final – Apr. 14, 2010

Developing and Testing a Framework for Cancer Quality Measures for End-of-Life Care

Topic Abstract

Background: Improving the quality of oncology end-of-life care requires measures that reflect all parts of cancer care, are easily usable by health care providers and patients, and are supported by experts and research evidence. Recently, the Cancer Care Quality Measurement Project (CANQUAL) and the National Quality Forum (NQF) found that only a few measures met these criteria. Recent projects, including a new comprehensive set of supportive oncology medical record-based quality measures, Cancer-ASSIST (Addressing Symptoms, Side Effects, and Indicators for Supportive Treatment) and an ongoing DEcIDE Network project evaluating cancer end-of-life measures for administrative data have made progress towards these goals, but further research is needed. Many issues, such as what data sources should be used, what additional data is needed, and what parts of end-of-life care should be measured need further development.

Objective/Research Questions: This project will address the need to have measures that can help health care organizations assess and improve the quality of cancer end-of-life care and help patients and families to make more informed choices about care. The objectives include: 1) developing and evaluating a model on key issues for end-of-life quality measurement through expert input and a symposium; 2) systematically collecting and updating information relevant to measurement in this area; and 3) testing a set of promising medical record-based measures, particularly Cancer-ASSIST.

Study design: A cross-sectional pilot study using medical record review will be used to evaluate measures. The framework will be developed and refined by way of an expert meeting.

Methods: Working with the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, the National Cancer Institute, and other key federal organizations, a panel of experts and stakeholders will be invited to a symposium to synthesize approaches to key needs in cancer quality end-of-life measurement, such as those mentioned above. We will develop a list of key issues for the symposium and methods for addressing them in this forum, including developing descriptive papers and gathering expert input to generate recommendations on key issues. The information will be updated on the selected measures and similar measures in these domains, information compiled on available datasets, potential improvements of the measures, and key questions regarding their use.

Expected Outputs: Scientific reports

Expected Date of Project Completion: 09/30/2008

Completed Outputs/ Published Reports: