Thompson Oncology Group, a division of Thompson Cancer Survival Center, has been recognized by the Quality Oncology Practice Initiative (QOPI®) Certification Program, an affiliate of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO). The QOPI® Certification Program (QCP™) certifies oncology practices that meet nationally recognized standards for cancer care.
“This shows once again despite an extremely difficult financial environment, Thompson Oncology Group’s nurses, techs, staff, nurse practitioners and doctors continue to provide the very highest quality of care,” said Monty Scott, Tho mpson Cancer Survival Center President and CAO. “Those human resources, combined with our geographic footprint and our chemotherapy, radiation and surgical technologies, offer East Tennessee the most comprehensive cancer survival service. We are very proud of their efforts in receiving this recognition.”
QOPI® is a voluntary self-assessment and improvement program launched by ASCO in 2006 to help hematology-oncology and medical oncology practices assess the quality of the care they provide to patients. Through the QOPI program, practices abstract data from patients’ records up to twice per year and enter this information into a secure database.
Thompson’s initial pursuit of certification was headed by Spence McCachren, M.D., who felt certification from the ACSO was essential. More than 900 oncology practices have registered for the QOPI program, with 250 earning certification.
“Our patients can see the quality designation. This visual symbol should serve to provide validation for the excellent care we strive to give to each and every patient,” said McCachren.
This certification for outpatient oncology practices is the first program of its kind for oncology in the United States. Oncologists achieve certification by participating in a voluntary comprehensive site assessment against clearly specified standards that are consistent with national guidelines. Jennifer Maulick, Director of Clinical Services for Thompson Oncology Group, knew the process would be challenging, but ultimately rewarding.
“It required multiple rounds of chart abstracting along with a site visit to inspect our processes to initially be considered,” said Maulick. “Following the site visit, we were required to develop plans to show how we could further improve on some of the measures. Even after receiving certification, this remains a focus, as quality improvement is something that is ongoing.”
The QOPI® certification lasts for three years and includes each of the ten locations of Thompson Oncology Group. Areas of focus during the evaluation included treatment planning, staff training, patient education and safe chemotherapy administration.
“In the decision to pursue certification, we had the confidence that we provide excellent care for patients during what is typically a very challenging time of their lives,” said Maulick. “We also knew there were things we could learn from the certification process and that through this, we could improve the way we care for our patients.”