Delivering high-quality cancer care: The critical role of quality measurement

Tracy E. Spinks, Patricia A. Ganz, George W. Sledge, Laura Levit, James A. Hayman, Timothy J. Eberlein, Thomas W. Feeley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


In 1999, the Institute of Medicine (IOM) published Ensuring Quality Cancer Care, an influential report that described an ideal cancer care system and issued ten recommendations to address pervasive gaps in the understanding and delivery of quality cancer care. Despite generating much fervor, the report's recommendations-including two recommendations related to quality measurement-remain largely unfulfilled.Amidst continuing concerns regarding increasing costs and questionable quality of care, the IOM charged a new committee with revisiting the 1999 report and with reassessing national cancer care, with a focus on the aging US population. The committee identified high-quality patient-clinician relationships and interactions as central drivers of quality and attributed existing quality gaps, in part, to the nation's inability to measure and improve cancer care delivery in a systematic way. In 2013, the committee published its findings in Delivering High-Quality Cancer Care: Charting a New Course for a System in Crisis, which included two recommendations that emphasize coordinated, patient-centered quality measurement and information technology enhancements:. •Develop a national quality reporting program for cancer care as part of a learning health care system; and•Develop an ethically sound learning health care information technology system for cancer that enables real-time analysis of data from cancer patients in a variety of care settings.These recommendations underscore the need for independent national oversight, public-private collaboration, and substantial funding to create robust, patient-centered quality measurement and learning enterprises to improve the quality, accessibility, and affordability of cancer care in America.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)53-62
Number of pages10
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2014


  • Cancer care
  • Health care delivery
  • Learning health care system
  • Patient-centeredness
  • Public reporting
  • Quality measurement


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