Online Program

Pilot testing a strategy to facilitate dissemination of quality standards aimed at improving continuity of cancer care

Monday, November 2, 2015

Kathleen Cartmell, PhD, MPH, College of Nursing, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, SC
Katherine Sterba, PhD, MPH, Department of Public Health Sciences, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, SC
Cathy Melvin, PhD, MPH, Department of Public Health Sciences, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, SC
Patty Hegedus, RN, OCN, MBA, Oncology Clinical Performance and Support Services, Gibbs Cancer Center and Research Institute-Spartanburg Regional Healthcare System, Spartanburg, SC
Ramsay Camp, MD, Department of Surgery, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, SC
Background: Cancer patients face physical, emotional and practical barriers to care. Inability to cope with these challenges can reduce the likelihood of optimal treatment. Thus, the Commission on Cancer (CoC) introduced three quality indicators to improve continuity of care. Effective 01/2015, cancer centers must offer patient navigation, distress screening and survivorship care planning services to maintain CoC accreditation. 

Methods: We tested a strategy to disseminate the new standards, hosting two evidence academies (EA) for South Carolina CoC-accredited centers. The initial two-day meeting consisted of presentations by national and state experts on: a) evidence-based models, b) cancer center implementation experiences, c) toolkits/templates, and d) workgroup planning sessions. A second one-day meeting 9-months later focused on sharing best practices and lessons learned during implementation.  

Results: For the first EA, 57 participants attended, representing 19 of 21 centers. N=45 participants attended the second EA. At the initial meeting, half of participants reported high readiness (9 or 10 on 10-point scale) to meet the navigation standard, with fewer reporting readiness to meet distress screening (39%) and survivorship care planning (25%) standards. Top barriers to implementation related to information technology (68%), staffing (63%), and funding (61%) challenges, difficulty reaching patients (55%) and cost to patients (47%). Participant satisfaction was high, with 84% rating overall EA quality as excellent.

Discussion: The EA strategy was feasible to implement and enabled rapid sharing of best practices across the majority of state centers. Results suggest implementation of survivorship care planning will be most challenging of the three services.

Learning Areas:

Administration, management, leadership
Conduct evaluation related to programs, research, and other areas of practice
Program planning
Public health administration or related administration
Public health or related organizational policy, standards, or other guidelines

Learning Objectives:
Identify the Commission on Cancer's (CoC) 3 new standards of care designed to improve continuity of cancer care Describe at least 3 common barriers to implementing the CoC's 3 new continuity of care standards

Keyword(s): Health Care Delivery, Health Systems Transformation

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have been a cancer prevention and control researcher for 8 years and have training in epidemiology and health services research. Among my scientific interests has been the development of strategies to rapidly disseminate the use of evidence-based standards of cancer care.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.