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IU Simon Cancer Center hematology oncology team certified by global society for providing top-quality cancer care

INDIANAPOLIS -- (August 09, 2011) -- IU Simon Cancer Center hematology oncology has received recognition from the world’s leading oncology society for achieving the highest levels of quality for the care provided to its patients.

The multidisciplinary team is the first oncology group in central Indiana to achieve the three-year certification from the Quality Oncology Practice Initiative (QOPI) Certification Program, an affiliate of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO). 

“QOPI certification is a reflection of our absolute commitment to provide our patients with the highest quality of oncology care. It also shows our determination to continue monitoring our performance and identifying the opportunities to improve our patient-centered care,” said Jose Azar, M.D., medical director for quality improvement and patient safety at the IU Simon Cancer Center and assistant professor of clinical medicine at the IU School of Medicine. “When patients visit the IU Simon Cancer Center, they can be assured they will receive a comprehensive cancer care according to the most stringent national safety and quality standards.”

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. More than 700 oncology practices have registered in the QOPI program.

The QOPI Certification Program (QCP) was launched in January 2010. 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). IU Simon Cancer Center hematology oncology is one of 86 practices nationwide to hold certification. 

“IU Simon Cancer Center is proud to receive QOPI certification from the American Society of Clinical Oncology because it underscores our commitment to our patients,” said Doug Schwartzentruber, M.D., associate director for clinical affairs for the IU Simon Cancer Center and system medical director for IU Health Cancer Services. “Our top priority is to provide the highest quality of cancer care to our patients by providing the most innovative treatments and meeting the most rigorous standards for quality and safety.” 

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 assessing of patient well-being.

“Cancer patients and their families should expect nothing less than accountability and the highest standards from their cancer care providers,” said Allen S. Lichter, M.D., 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.”