The National Quality Forum (NQF) Cancer Project 2015–2017 seeks to identify and endorse performance measures for accountability reporting and quality improvement that specifically address conditions, treatments, interventions, or procedures relating to cancer. A detailed overview of the goals/objectives of the Cancer Project is provided by NQF.
ONS nominated member Diane Otte, MSN, RN, OCN, director, Cancer Center at Mayo Clinic Health System–Franciscan Healthcare in LaCrosse, WI to serve on the Cancer Project 2015–2017 Standing Committee as one of three nurses.
“The expertise and qualifications of the committee members were impressive and resulted in a very thorough review of the measures considered during the last several months,” Otte said. “The work of the NQF has resulted in impressive improvements in the quality of patient care over the last several years and will continue to be very important as new measures are proposed, evaluated through this process and implemented in the coming years.”
In June 2016, the Standing Committee reviewed a total of 18 quality measures related to breast cancer, colon cancer, lung and thoracic cancer, prostate cancer, and hematology. Of these 18 total, the committee recommended nine measures for continued endorsement as scientifically sound and relevant to the provision of quality cancer care for these populations. Two of the measures reviewed were recommended for endorsement with reserve status and the Committee did not recommend or reach consensus on seven measures.
The NQF endorsement of quality measures indicates that the developer utilized the best scientific evidence available, tested the measures rigorously for validity and reliability, and considered the feasibility of data abstraction and usability the measure to define and improve quality for cancer care.
By 2017, 90% of all payments will be performance based, thus it is imperative that informed review by scientists, clinicians, advocates, and consumers occur to ensure that the measures endorsed by NQF meet the standards necessary to advance the Aims of the National Quality Standard (NQS). Every measure endorsed should address one of six priorities within the Aims of the NQS:
- Patient Safety
- Person- and Family-Centered Care
- Effective Communication and Care Coordination
- Prevention and Treatment of Leading Causes of Morbidity and Mortality
- Health and Well-Being of Communities
- Making Quality Care More Affordable
Submit Your Comments to NQF
Federal statute requires the NQF to put the findings of this committee out for public review and comment for 30 days. Currently, ONS staff are reviewing the findings and plan to provide comment. As professionals, citizens, and consumers of health care in the United States, knowledge of the regulatory landscape driving health care reform and value-based, science-driven healthcare is essential. Oncology nurses have the experience and patient-centered care perspectives to add an important voice to this discussion.