1. Enhance Key Elements of the Data System Infrastructure
Recommendation 1: Develop a core set of cancer care quality measures.
The Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) should designate a committee made up of representatives of public institutions (e.g., the DHHS Quality of Cancer Care Committee, state cancer registries, academic institutions) and private groups (e.g., consumer organizations, professional associations, purchasers, health insurers and plans) to: 1) identify a single core set of quality measures that span the full spectrum of an individual’s care and are based on the best available evidence; 2) advise other national groups (e.g., National Committee for Quality Assurance, Joint Commission for the Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations, Quality Forum) to adopt the recommended core set of measures; and 3) monitor the progress of ongoing efforts to improve standard reporting of cancer stage and comorbidity.
Research sponsors (e.g., Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality [AHRQ], National Cancer Institute [NCI], Health Care Financing Administration [HCFA], Department of Veterans Affairs [VA]) should invest in studies to identify evidence-based quality indicators across the continuum of cancer care.