Cancer Center gets QOPI cert
The Cancer Center at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center has been awarded QOPI Certification by the Quality Oncology Practice Initiative (QOPI), one of the first academic medical centers to achieve this status.
The organization, run by the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO), bi-annually collects data that provides insight into national trends in cancer care. Participation in the process provides practices with quality improvement goals, learning opportunities and feedback, according to ASCO.
QOPI Certification serves as a distinct designation from ASCO that indicates high-quality patient care.
"At the Cancer Center, we have a focus on quality and quality improvement. It's been part of the core mission of BIDMC," said Reed E. Drews, MD, Director of the Hematology-Oncology Fellowship Program and an Associate Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School.
"Many payers, employers and patients are looking for meaningful indicators that an oncology practice is achieving high-quality care," added Jeremy Warner, MD, a clinical fellow in Hematology-Oncology. "QOPI Certification will be a clear designation that the Cancer Center can refer to in practice communications and marketing materials."
BIDMC applied for certification last spring under the direction of Drews and Greg Britt, MD, a former clinical fellow in Hematology-Oncology. The Cancer Center then underwent site visits by QOPI Certification staff and the QOPI Steering Group.
Since 2008, the Cancer Center has been participating in the audits for certification measures, such as breast and colon cancer, non-Hodgkin lymphoma, symptom/toxicity management and end-of-life care. The certification is for three years, starting when QOPI Certification is awarded to the organization.
"The process is rigorous, and the ability to work within an interdisciplinary team was also key to our success," said Warner. "A day-long site visit audit was conducted by QOPI staff, with a focus on nursing processes during chemotherapy administration, and the process of obtaining and documenting informed consent and treatment details," he said.
Warner, along with Elizabeth Gaughan, MD, and Peter Yang, MD, also clinical fellows in Hematology-Oncology, identified three areas of improvement with the Cancer Center and methodically assessed each over the course of nine months. The areas of improvement were documentation of missed visits, which required the issuance of a new Missed Visits Policy, and documentation of chemotherapy intent and other treatment details, which resulted in engagement with all providers and the issuance of standard note templates.
"The third challenge, which was documenting cumulative doses of chemotherapy, required programmatic changes to the electronic management system. The fact that we obtained certification is a testament to our rigorous patient safety and quality standards at BIDMC," said Warner. "The ongoing process improvement, which is at the heart of the QOPI Certification, will continue to provide benefits for patients and providers alike."
Patients should not notice any overt changes at this time while at the Cancer Center. "One of the goals of the program, however, is to develop a streamlined, accurate Patient Treatment Summary document," said Warner.