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Breast J. 2010 Sep-Oct;16(5):472-80. doi: 10.1111/j.1524-4741.2010.00970.x. Epub 2010 Aug 16.

A community breast center report card determined by participation in the national quality measures for breast centers program.

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Department of General Surgery, Gundersen Lutheran Health System, Norma J. Vinger Center for Breast Care, 1900 South Avenue, La Crosse, WI 54601, USA.


Measurement of quality indicators and peer comparison has been demonstrated to improve quality of care. The goal of this study was to determine whether a community breast center, in collaboration with the National Consortium of Breast Centers (NCBC), could voluntarily audit the quality of breast cancer care, confidentially transmit quality information to the NCBC, and receive peer performance comparisons. Quality indicator metrics from consecutive breast cancer patients undergoing care at a community interdisciplinary breast center were entered into a prospective database of quality measures that were defined by the NCBC. Retrospective review of patients from 2004 to 2006 was performed and subsequent quality indicator data was submitted electronically to the NCBC National Quality Measures for Breast Centers (NQMBC(TM) ) program. The percentage of new cancer diagnoses made by needle biopsy techniques was 94%, 95% and 96% from 2004 to 2006. Sentinel lymph node utilization in eligible patients was 93%, 96% and 91% from 2004 to 2006 and the immediate intraoperative pathologic frozen section false negative rate of the sentinel lymph node was 6.5%, 4.7% and 4%. Chart documentation of "patient participation in shared decision making for breast conserving therapy versus mastectomy" improved from 74% to 99% (p<0.05) from 2004 to 2006. Adjuvant systemic treatment for stage 2 breast cancer occurred in 76%, 89% and 77% of patients from 2004 to 2006. Neutropenia requiring hospital admission occurred in no patients in 2004 but in 4.8% and 2.9% in 2005 and 2006. The re-excision lumpectomy rates for stage 0, 1, 2, and 3 breast cancer patients from 2004 to 2006 was 14.2%, 22% and 24.8%. Quality indicator data was submitted to the NQMBC(TM) with successful confidential receipt of peer performance comparisons. Voluntary interdisciplinary institutional audits of breast cancer quality can be successfully submitted to the NQMBC(TM) with confidential peer performance comparison.

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