Applications Open for ASCO’s Leading Oncology Quality Improvement Course

Applications Open for ASCO’s Leading Oncology Quality Improvement Course

Michael K. Keng, MD, (standing, center), participates in the one of the classroom sessions of the 2016 Quality Training Program at ASCO headquarters in Alexandria, Virginia. With him are group members (on his right, from left): Amy Morris, PharmD, Univers
Applications are now open for ASCO’s 2018 Quality Training Program (QTP). The QTP prepares oncology providers to design, implement, and lead successful quality improvement activities in busy practice settings throughout 6 months of learning.

Designed by oncologists and oncology care specialists for oncology practice teams, the program includes 5 days of in-person learning across three sessions, as well as hands-on learning at the participants’ practices. To ensure a well-rounded experience, sessions include seminars, case examples, and small group exercises. Multidisciplinary experts in oncology and health care quality improvement lead the practice teams through the QTP. These experts bring many years of teaching and coaching experience to the program.

Upon completing the course, participants will know how to:

  • Form a high-functioning improvement team;
  • Identify clinical and operational targets for improvement;
  • Plan and implement change strategies
  • Understand and use data for improvement;
  • Track performance over time; and
  • Use process analysis tools such as flowcharting, cause and effect diagrams, check sheets, and Pareto Charts.

Participants who complete the course are eligible for MOC and CME credits. Completing the program can also help teams adjust for the changing reimbursement environment based on quality of service.

In 2018, sessions will be held regionally in Miami and in Alexandria, Virginia. The locations change each year, and ASCO plans to add international locations in the future. Two to four members of each team, including the team leader, must attend three sessions. Visit us online for the full schedule.

Course Structure

The University of Virginia’s Quality Training Program 2016 team at ASCO headquarters (from left): Mohammed A Naeem, MD, PhD; Jeremy Sen, PharmD; Amy Morris, PharmD; Louise Man, MD; Torey Murray, RN; Jeanne Cahan, RN, BSN; and Michael K. Keng, MD.
Quality improvement is an ongoing process. Each oncology team will select a structured and facilitated improvement project, enabling them to solve problems in their own clinical settings with guidance from coaches. In addition to meetings and coaching conference calls, teams will need to dedicate time and resources to completing their projects.

Since the program’s launch in 2013, 40 projects have been completed. Past projects have focused on care coordination, beneficiary engagement, patient safety, patient access, and process improvement. For example, past participating practices have successfully decreased the number of patients with cancer using the emergency room by 60% and increased the percentage of symptom management calls addressed within 2 hours from 54% to 73%.

Practices must apply to participate in the Quality Training Program, and those selected must demonstrate a commitment of time and resources and undergo an extensive and rigorous review process by the program’s selection committee.

For more information on applying or to submit an application, visit us online.