Quality Improvement: Sanders-Stone Cancer Center

Quality improvement is an activity which is ongoing in all the health care services around the world. This research will focus on how Sanders-Stone Cancer Committee has to adopt strategies which will help in the improvement of its services to cancer patients. This research is carried out due to the need of revealing the areas which need to be improved and also as a way to sustain the patient care service provided at the center. The findings of this research will be discussed among the committee members of Sanders-Stone Cancer Center who will make recommendations aimed at improving the actions and outcomes needed by the organization. This paper will select the two areas of study in need of improvement.

These are on early diagnosing, and on ways of enhancing cancer survival and care. the main goal for focusing these various improvement strategies generally aimed at improving cancer survival. Every cancer service according to the Cancer Campaigning Group (CCG) should have the general goal of becoming a world class service provider. Sanders-Stone Cancer center is offers different cancer types services and the organization can offer valuable information on various proposed changes in systems and structure of the organization can be implemented and changed to help patients suffering from cancer receive improved outcomes and high quality care.

On early diagnosing

Increased focused has to be undertaken by Sanders-Stone Cancer Center on early diagnosis and detection. This strategy will extend the survival reduce incidences of cancer and improve the experience of patients in both life post –treatment and care. Focusing on early diagnosis and detection is a strategy which applies across all cancer  localities, types and grouping equalities seen across gender, age, social deprivation and ethnicity issue.

The main goal of this strategy is to use information to improve the cancer patient’s outcome among other factors (Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society 2010).The available options which Sanders-Stone Cancer Center can use for identifying the patients who have been newly diagnosed are by the use of administrative data claims pathological laboratories, cancer registries, the offices of physicians and rapid cases ascertainment cancer registry.

These approaches of obtaining data have different benefits as well as limitations especially in the inability to obtain comparable and valid data   in various settings. Quality measurement by the use of case identification strategy has two main limitations which are it only identifies patients exhibiting a particular characteristic such has breast cancer diagnosis only. The second major challenge will be how to accurately identify all the patients exhibiting a particular type of cancer.Case identification strategy may be biased yet it is able to nonrepresentative type of a case which is only convenient to gather. The case identification strategy is the best way because it is ably to identify patients who are highly educated.

On the other hand an inaccurate picture can be presented when the results from performance measurement are used. This raises serious ethical questions especially when patients without cancer are categorized with those suffering from the disease.Quality assessment by the use of case identification also has a number of challenges. The main one being that only incident cancer cases are the main focus in  the assessment of quality. This therefore calls for the need of implementing a case –identification strategy which allows one to separate unique cases from prevalent ones. Severity of the disease is also another challenge in the use of case identification strategy.

This is the stage of cancer as a crucial aspect in the measurement of quality service provided at the healthcare center especially for the policy makers interested in knowing the rate of a specific subset of the disease. For example patients diagnosed with breast cancer at an early stage. Another crucial challenge with this strategy is that the diagnosis of cancer is seen as a very sensitive issue which poses a big threat or challenge in protecting the human rights of the patients. Therefore the main thing to do is to deal with these challenges as a prerequisite step before conducting quality measurement just like in other forms of medical conditions before evaluating the cancer care quality (Barraclough, 2007, p 304).

Other possible strategies which can be used include the use of administrative data, cancer registries, physician’s offices and pathology laboratories. Data claims can be used in Sanders-Stone Cancer Center as data for improving early diagnosis. Administrative databases and claims data can give information on cancer related procedures and on cancer diagnosis. The information which claim data can show include the procedure and diagnostic codes, claims based on algorithm of a particular type of cancer in a given setting.

However claims data may be invalid in the case of diagnoses of breast cancer. Administrative data on the other hand at diagnosis gives no information on the stage of cancer. This makes claims data to be more liable.Claims data may also present a challenge in the identification of patient’s setting such as those for a fee for services and those who are not. Further limitation is also seen in the identification of HMOs cancer patients. This is because not all the HMOs have limited services or do not collect claim which   HMO has entered into contact with a specialized hospital our service providers.

Enhancing cancer survival and care

Complimentary therapies are currently increasing in the world to cure all types of cancer. These new strategies are being used with the orthodox treatment to form an integrative approach in the care of cancer. Enhancing cancer survival and care is also part of the main goals of Sanders-Stone Cancer Center in order to increase the chance of survival among cancer patients. This strategy requires practical steps to be carried out which will test on various cancer therapies and their effectiveness.

Evidence-based information is crucial in ensuring new improved approaches are identified and implemented for the sake of enhancing cancer survival and care. The Sanders-Stone Cancer Center has to consider the adaptation of holistic and natural therapies which have been tested to help in improvement of quality of life and symptom-control. Some strategies have also been tested to extend the survival of patients. Sanders-Stone Cancer Center is also called for to examine and adopt the complementary therapies which enable the patients to have a greater sense of control in regard to their illness and management of the condition they are in (Barraclough, 2007, pp 304).

Quality care indicators and quality care calls for the validation and development of measurement tools which are based from medical records, administrative data, family members and interviews with patients. The areas in need of improvement for cancer patients are in areas such as the high cost incurred in the provision of treatment and medication, the uncovered services by insurance companies like Medicare while those covered by the insurance may not apply to a given need required by cancer patient.Client’s rights should also be considered in developing ways of improving cancer survival and care.

The patients have to have access to information and be given the opportunity to make informed choices. They have the right to be provided with safe services, continuity of care, to have comfort, confidentiality, privacy, respect dignity and their opinions to be respected. The staff members providing care to cancer patients  require the right equipments, infrastructure and supplies. They also need development training and information especially on the contemporary therapies for cancer.

These strategies are essential in every healthcare organization and improvements can be information technology and environment which is knowledge intensity. This means that Sanders-Stone Cancer Center has to make decisions based on computer support  and other new technologies which use the methods of Quality Improvement. The two methods that Sanders-Stone Cancer Center can adopt are Donabedian framework such a that of structure-Process-Outcome and the Deming method also called the Plan-To –Do- Act cycle (Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society , 2010).

These models emphasize on mechanism for improving the outcomes of   performance with high vigor. These QI initiatives depend on the content and are also multidimensional. However the QI models do not fully capture the heterogeneous, complex and cultural nature of the activities in health care systems (Reidl, Tolar, Wagner, 2008). Qualitative assessment of the healthcare organization can be improved with the implication of   IQ initiatives by the use of information technology.

Reference

Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (2010). EMR adoption model. Retrieved from

http://www.himssanalytics.org/hc_providers/emr_adoption.asp

On March 17, 2011

 Reidl C, Tolar M, Wagner, I (2008) Impediments to Change: The Case of Implementing an Electronic Patient Record in Three Oncology Clinics. Participatory Design Conference; October 1–4, 2008. Bloomington, Indiana

Barraclough, J (2007) Enhancing cancer care, complimentary therapy and support, Oxford University press, pp 304

 

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