Patient Care

Wilmot Cancer Center Program Receives National Quality Designation

Jun. 4, 2012
Hematology/Oncology Program certified by American Society of Clinical Oncology
David Dougherty, M.D.

The Hematology/Oncology division of the University of Rochester Medical Center’s James P. Wilmot Cancer center has earned certification through the Quality Oncology Practice Initiative (QOPI®) sponsored by the American Society of Clinical Oncology, or ASCO. The Wilmot Cancer Center joins just 121 other oncology practices and hospitals throughout the U.S. – including just eight in New York State - to achieve such certification.

ASCO's Quality Oncology Practice Initiative is an oncologist-led, practice-based quality improvement program aimed at promoting excellence in cancer care by helping practices create a culture of self-examination and improvement. The process employed for improving cancer care includes measurement, feedback and improvement tools for hematology-oncology practices.

 “As the healthcare environment continues to evolve, all providers, including oncologists and the systems with which they are affiliated, are being examined and measured by both patients and insurers for the level of quality they provide,” said David Dougherty, M.D., who led the initiative at Wilmot. “Completing the rigorous process involved with achieving QOPI Certification affirms our commitment to sustained quality and providing the highest levels of care to our patients. This is really the future of not only cancer care, but medical care in general.”

Alok Khorana, M.D.

Dougherty’s involvement in quality initiatives at the Wilmot Cancer Center, including serving as a member of a Kaizen quality improvement initiative in 2011, has led to recognition of his developing expertise at the national level. ASCO has appointed him to a four-year term as a member of the QOPI national steering committee, through which he will help oversee and shape the future of the program. 

ASCO recognizes the importance of integrating continuous quality improvement into patient-centered clinical practice, and has collaborated with the world's leading cancer care experts to develop key quality programs. The QOPI Certification seal indicates that a practice not only benchmarks against national standards that are reliable and credible but also has acted to incorporate standards and processes which safeguard the practice and patients.

“As an organization, we are committed to continuous quality improvement, and providing the best possible care and environment for our patients,” said Alok Khorana, M.D., Vice Chief of the Hematology/Oncology division, who also participated in the Kaizen and QOPI certification process. “Being able to benchmark against established, national standards is a wonderful opportunity for our physicians, administrators and staff to examine our approach to care and find ways we can take it to an even higher level.”

QOPI was developed by world-renowned practicing oncologists and quality experts, using clinical guidelines and published standards, such as the National Initiative on Cancer Care Quality (NICCQ), ASCO/NCCN Quality Measures, and ASTRO/ASCO/AMA PCPI Oncology Measures.

The QOPI certification mandates that quality and safety policies and procedures be in place, and documented and translated into practice. These policies and processes often cut across several departments. As a result, a certified practice tends to have more streamlined policies and procedures and better interdepartmental communications. These practices also typically keep better records and are more likely to avoid costly errors.