Quality Measures Developed For Childhood Cancer Care Systems

Toronto, ON, Canada – Researchers at Pediatric Oncology Group of Ontario (POGO) and McMaster University have developed measures of the quality of childhood cancer care delivery systems. These measures will be used to evaluate the performance of the childhood cancer system in Ontario and inform increased system improvements and accountability. Twenty indicators were selected and prioritized for phased implementation in Ontario, with a high-level of consensus from stakeholders.

Twin articles, “Measuring the Quality of a Childhood Cancer Care Delivery System: Quality Indicator Development” and “Measuring the Quality of a Childhood Cancer Care Delivery System: Assessing Stakeholder Agreement,” published in Value in Health, in June 2013, describe how the team of decision-makers, expert clinicians and methodologists, developed a set of evidence and consensus-based quality indicators; selected a quality assessment framework; and established consensus amongst stakeholders.

The indicators span the continuum of childhood cancer care, from diagnosis and treatment to survivorship, and reflect seven quality dimensions of the Cancer System Quality Index framework adapted for Ontario’s childhood cancer system, including safety, effectiveness, accessibility, responsiveness, equity, integration, and efficiency. The prioritized indicator set is intended to reflect perspectives of key stakeholders and will enable examination of service delivery to patients of varying levels of complexity of care at various stages of the continuum.

Care of children with cancer is complex, due to the severity of illness, intensity and duration of treatment, and immediate and long-term consequences. This project creates a balanced scorecard to evaluate a childhood cancer system, articulates methods used to develop quality indicators and stakeholder consensus, and provides clear definitions of selected measures.

“This is the first set of quality indicators developed for a childhood cancer system in any jurisdiction internationally,” said Dr. Mark Greenberg, ChB MB, Senior Adviser, Policy and Clinical Affairs at POGO, and co-author of the studies. “Implementation of the 20 quality indicators will lead to the development of benchmarks for optimal service delivery over time and across populations and jurisdictions, and will generate information of interest to health care providers, survivors, families, and policy makers to stimulate and inform quality improvements and health care accountability.”

Value in Health (ISSN 1098-3015) publishes papers, concepts, and ideas that advance the field of pharmacoeconomics and outcomes research as well as policy papers to help health care leaders make evidence-based decisions. The journal is published bi-monthly and has over 8,000 subscribers (clinicians, decision makers, and researchers worldwide).

International Society for Pharmacoeconomics and Outcomes Research (ISPOR) is a nonprofit, international, educational and scientific organization that strives to increase the efficiency, effectiveness, and fairness of health care resource use to improve health.

For more information: www.ispor.org

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