- Comprehensive rehabilitation services are available to cancer patients and their families.
- Social work services are provided by licensed social workers prepared at the master's level and experienced in meeting the psychosocial needs of patients and their families.
- Psychosocial services are directed by written policies and procedures.
- Acute and chronic cancer pain management guidelines are available to assist professional staff in alleviating patient suffering and improving quality of life.
- An inpatient oncology unit is designed for the care of patients with cancer and their families.
Ambulatory Oncology Services
- An outpatient facility or office is available and dedicated to outpatient cancer care.
- A radiation oncology facility is available for treatments.
- Integration of oncology services for optimal treatment planning, evaluation, and follow-up.
- A home health agency or referral relationship exists to provide professional services to cancer patients and their families in the home.
- A hospice program exists to provide professional and volunteer services to patients with cancer in the terminal stage of disease and their families. Bereavement for families is provided for a minimum of six months.
SOURCE: Association of Community Cancer Centers, 1997.
Quality Improvement Within Health Care Organizations
Several techniques are available for using internal quality assessments to improve quality within an organization. Ideally, information on quality shows where to focus efforts for improvement. Traditional quality assurance programs focus on retraining or removing clinicians who stand out as performing below group norms. By contrast, continuous quality improvement (CQI) programs (also known as total quality management [TQM] programs) focus on improving the quality of care delivered by all clinicians, with the goal of raising the average level of quality