It has been almost 10 years since the Institute of Medicine released its influential report, “From Cancer Patient to Cancer Survivor: Lost in Transition,” in which it stressed that all patients completing cancer treatment should receive a survivorship care plan.
Since then, the need to help transition cancer survivors back to primary care treatment has only grown. In 2012, the American Cancer Society estimated that there were about 13.7 million cancer survivors in the United States, and it estimated that this number would increase to about 18 million by 2022.
New Online Toolkit
To help support its member implementation or improvement of their survivorship care, ASCO has recently launched its Cancer Survivorship Compendium, an online repository of tools and resources for the survivorship care of patients who have completed curative treatment or who have transitioned to maintenance or prophylactic therapy.
“We thought it would be useful to oncologists if we developed a survivorship toolkit that included resources to help develop a survivorship program, expand a program, or fill needs within an existing program aimed at improving the care of cancer survivors throughout the country,” said Kevin C. Oeffinger, MD, Director of the Adult Long-Term Follow-up Program at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, and Immediate Past Chair of ASCO’s Cancer Survivorship Committee.
The Survivorship Compendium is broken down into two easy-to-navigate sections, “Putting Survivorship Care into Practice” and “Additional Online Resources,” both of which offer valuable information for growing survivorship care.
Survivorship Care Plan
Among the most valuable information is the Clinical Tools and Resources link that points to ASCO’s survivorship care planning tools. Later this year, the tools will be updated to include a new template for a Survivorship Care Plan. According to Dr. Oeffinger, this updated plan is designed to provide oncologists with a streamlined version of a care plan that is a much more efficient template for creating cancer treatment summaries and a follow-up care plan.
The Compendium also offers information on a variety of phases of the development of a survivorship care program. Oncologists can browse information discussing a variety of models of long-term follow-up care, and can access a needs assessment that will help to determine what survivorship resources are already available at their practices, and what additional resources may need to be added in order to build a successful program.
Finally, oncologists can visit the Compendium to access information on reimbursement as it relates to survivorship care. Although survivorship care has been identified as an important component of cancer care, many oncology practices and hospitals are still struggling to incorporate the work associated with survivorship care planning into their business plans, according to Dr. Oeffinger. The Compendium offers quick access to ASCO’s resources on coverage and reimbursement information for survivorship care services.
“This version of the Compendium is only the ‘1.0’ version,” said Dr. Oeffinger. “As we add to and grow the Compendium, we hope that people will continue to find these tools useful, and come back and visit the site as a source for information about how to deliver high quality care to survivors.”
Visit the Cancer Survivorship Compendium at asco.org/survivorship. ■
© 2014. American Society of Clinical Oncology. All rights reserved.