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J Clin Oncol. 2009 Aug 10;27(23):3802-7. doi: 10.1200/JCO.2008.21.6770. Epub 2009 Jun 1.

Implementation of the Quality Oncology Practice Initiative at a university comprehensive cancer center.

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Comprehensive Cancer Center, Room 1-111, SPC 0950, 1500 East Medical Center Dr, Ann Arbor, MI 48109-0950, USA.



The Quality Oncology Practice Initiative (QOPI) is a voluntary program developed by the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) to aid oncology practices in quality self-assessment. Few academic cancer centers have been QOPI participants.


We implemented the QOPI process at the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center, a large, hospital-based academic cancer center, and report our experience with five rounds of data collection. Patient medical records were selected using QOPI-specified procedures and abstracted locally; results were entered into an ASCO-maintained database and analyzed.


Abstractors who were not directly involved with patient care required an average of 62.3 minutes per medical record (4.7 minutes per data element) to abstract data. We found that compliance with quality measures was uniformly high when measures were structured into our electronic medical record. Results from other measures, including those measuring chemotherapy administration in the last 2 weeks of life, were initially markedly different from those reported by other QOPI participants. Our practice changed toward the QOPI national practice norm after a presentation of the results at a faculty research conference. We found that other measures were consistently greater than 90%, including disease-specific diagnosis and treatment measures.


Measuring and showing performance data to physicians was sufficient to change some aspects of physician behavior. Improvement in other measures requires structural practice changes. QOPI, an oncologist-developed system, can be adapted for use in practice improvement at an academic medical center.

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