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Background on the metrics included in this tool
Quality metric selection aligns with value mandate
Given the shift to a value‑based health care marketplace focused not just on quality but also cost of care, it is vital that cancer programs pursue a broad quality strategy that aligns with the priorities of their stakeholders.
To help our members develop a comprehensive quality strategy, the metrics included in this tool have the potential to inflect quality across the full cancer care continuum and contribute to a high-value patient care experience.
Metrics reflect full spectrum of quality priorities
The current set of consensus measures provides a starter set but fails to represent the full picture of cancer care. To that end, the metrics included in this tool span the full care continuum, from risk assessment through diagnosis, treatment, and follow-up. Because quality priorities vary by diagnosis, we have included tumor site-specific metrics for the most common diagnoses—breast, colorectal, lung, and prostate cancers—which account for over 60% of newly diagnosed cancer patients.
In addition, given the recent focus on the critical role of palliative care in driving high-value cancer care, we have identified a set of measures specific to palliative care and end-of-life planning. Finally, general cancer center metrics are available to be used in setting broader cancer program quality strategy.
Widely endorsed with a robust set of benchmarks
Although each institution should customize its quality dashboard to the organization's unique goals, resources, and market dynamics, most institutions will also want to report performance to external quality organizations.
To avoid duplication, we have included only metrics that have been endorsed by one or more quality organizations—and have listed the endorsing organization(s) for each metric.
Additionally, to drive quality improvement, cancer programs must be able to benchmark themselves both internally and against their peers. Through an exhaustive search of clinical literature and national benchmarking efforts, we have amassed a set of benchmarks for each quality metric included in the tool, providing in most cases a national average and an ideal performance level.
Prioritize the metrics you track
Cancer programs cannot—and should not—aim to track every metric available. Instead, program leaders should evaluate potential metrics according to the criteria below:
- Does your clinical staff consider the metric to be important?
- Does your senior administration consider the metric to be important?
- Does your metric align with hospital-wide goals?
- Does the metric align with oncology service line goals?
- Is the metric calculated by an automated system?
- If not, are you certain the report data is accurate?
- Do managers and clinicians trust the data for decision making?
- Are existing information systems capable of generating reports on the metric?
- Can staff collect and report the data within a reasonable time frame?
- Is the cost of measurement acceptable?
- Can this metric be tracked frequently enough to inform action?
- Is this metric easily explained to and understood by internal audiences, including physicians, managers, and executives?
- Can the different constituencies involved come to consensus on the metric definition?
- Are physicians and staff aware of the importance for tracking the metric?
- Is the metric easily understood by external audiences, including consumers and payers?
- Is the metric derived from clinical guidelines of published standards?
- Do physicians agree that the metric is evidence-based and clinically relevant?
- Is there consensus in the industry regarding the scientific acceptability of the metric?