ASTRO Commends Institute of Medicine’s “Delivering High-Quality Cancer Care” Report, Issued Today
Source Newsroom: American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO)
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Newswise — Fairfax, Va., September 10, 2013 – The American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO) praises the “Delivering High-Quality Cancer Care: Charting a News Course for a System in Crisis” report, issued earlier today by the Institute of Medicine (IOM) of the National Academies. The 315-page report, produced by a 17-member committee of cancer care leaders, concludes that the nation’s “cancer care delivery system is in crisis. Care is not patient-centered, many patients do not receive palliative care to manage their symptoms and side effects from treatment, and decisions about care often are not based on the latest scientific evidence.” In addition, the report details a six-part framework for improving the quality of cancer care and thus improving “the quality of life and outcomes for people facing a cancer diagnosis.”
“We commend the extraordinary efforts of the IOM to produce this extensive report, and we strongly support the report’s detailed findings and recommendations,” said ASTRO Chairman Michael L. Steinberg, MD, FASTRO. “We are humbled and encouraged to enhance our efforts to ensure high-quality cancer care in our field and to fortify our bonds and collaborations with the entire multidisciplinary cancer care team.
“We are also proud that many ASTRO projects already underway address recommendations in the IOM report. ASTRO’s 55th Annual Meeting next week, September 22-25 in Atlanta, is themed “Patients: Hope • Guide • Heal,” where our focus is patient-centered care. ASTRO’s commitment to quality and safety are evidenced by our new practice accreditation program; the forthcoming launch of our new patient safety and medical error reporting system; the recent launch of our data registry pilot for prostate cancer, the National Radiation Oncology Registry (NROR); and our ongoing efforts to develop clinical practice guidelines and performance measures. ASTRO is also developing a payment reform plan for radiation oncology with the goals of improving the quality of care, reducing variation in care and decreasing overall costs.
“We look forward to augmenting the delivery of efficient, high-quality cancer care for the more than one million cancer patients who receive radiation therapy each year. We appreciate the report’s call-to-action and resolve to redouble our efforts to ensure that patients receive well-coordinated care that safeguards patient quality of life and safety, assures access to care, and promotes cost efficiencies,” concluded Steinberg.
This IOM report was sponsored by ASTRO along with AARP, the American Cancer Society, the American College of Surgeons’ Commission on Cancer, the American Society of Clinical Oncology, the American Society of Hematology, the California Healthcare Foundation, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, LIVESTRONG, the National Cancer Institute of the National Institutes of Health, the National Coalition for Cancer Survivorship, the Oncology Nursing Society, and Susan G. Komen for the Cure. ASTRO’s Clinical Affairs and Quality Committee Chair James A. Hayman, MD, served on the IOM committee that authored the report.
The Institute of Medicine serves as adviser to the nation to improve health. Established in 1970 under the charter of the National Academy of Sciences, the Institute of Medicine provides independent, objective, evidence-based advice to policy makers, health professionals, the private sector and the public.
ASTRO is the premier radiation oncology society in the world, with more than 10,000 members who are physicians, nurses, biologists, physicists, radiation therapists, dosimetrists and other health care professionals that specialize in treating patients with radiation therapies. As the leading organization in radiation oncology, the Society is dedicated to improving patient care through professional education and training, support for clinical practice and health policy standards, advancement of science and research, and advocacy. ASTRO publishes two medical journals, International Journal of Radiation Oncology, Biology, Physics (www.redjournal.org) and Practical Radiation Oncology (www.practicalradonc.org); developed and maintains an extensive patient website, www.rtanswers.org; and created the Radiation Oncology Institute (www.roinstitute.org), a non-profit foundation to support research and education efforts around the world that enhance and confirm the critical role of radiation therapy in improving cancer treatment. To learn more about ASTRO, visit www.astro.org.