ASCO’s Innovative Quality Improvement Programs Highlighted at Symposium

Get Permission

Several presentations at the 2013 Quality Care Symposium demonstrated the current and potential impact of ASCO’s initiatives to achieve higher-quality cancer care with better outcomes for patients.

Key presentations at the conference centered on the development of ASCO’s ground-breaking “big data” initiative, CancerLinQ™; the Virtual Learning Collaborative pilot project on palliative care; and on the impact of the Society’s Quality Oncology Practice Initiative (QOPI®), all major efforts to improve the quality of cancer care.


Quality improvement has always been at the core of ASCO’s mission. The Society issued its first clinical practice guideline in 1994. QOPI, launched in 2006, is the first national program to help practices measure and improve the quality of care they deliver. With CancerLinQ, ASCO is developing a knowledge-generating computer network that will collect and analyze cancer care data from millions of patient visits, together with expert guidelines and other evidence, to generate real-time, clinical guidance and quality feedback for physicians.

CancerLinQ is ASCO’s effort to build a health information technology–based learning health system to achieve higher quality, higher value cancer care with better outcomes for patients. A functional CancerLinQ prototype was completed in just 8 months and includes more than 170,000 de-identified medical records of breast cancer patients. The prototype demonstrated the feasibility of all major components of a learning health system, including the conversion of clinical practice guidelines into a machine-readable format that can be queried to deliver real-time guidance to physicians at the point of care.

Virtual Learning Collaborative

ASCO’s Virtual Learning Collaborative (VLC), developed in partnership with the American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine (AAHPM), will support quality improvement initiatives targeting palliative care delivered by medical oncologists. The VLC is based on the quality collaborative model, which has achieved wide success with both the Institute for Healthcare Improvement’s Breakthrough Series and the Department of Veterans’ Affairs EBQI program. The VLC will test a digital approach, moving the collaboration to an online platform environment, allowing participation no matter where a practice is located.

To learn more about ASCO’s efforts in quality improvement, please visit ■

© 2013. American Society of Clinical Oncology. All rights reserved.