Quality measures for the diagnosis and management of colorectal cancer.
16031 Background: The huge burden of illness from colorectal cancer (CRC) can be reduced by improving the quality of care for CRC patients. Identifying appropriate quality measures that can assess the processes of care is the first step in this process. Therefore we conducted a comprehensive literature search to identify process measures available in the United States to assess the quality of care for diagnosing and managing patients with CRC and the extent to which they were field-ready. METHODS: We conducted a standard literature search using MEDLINE and the Cochrane Database; also explored gray literature, and identified 3771 abstracts. By sequential exclusion, 74 of them were finally included. We included quality measures from traditional QI literature, and supplemented them with those included in studies where these measures were used as part of their research agenda. All measures were abstracted into evidence tables and evaluated using a set of standard criteria regarding their importance, usability, and scientific acceptability. In order to assess the extent to which they were field-ready, we devised a summary rating scale for each quality measure using three criteria: importance and usability, scientific acceptability, and extent of testing. RESULTS: Overall, the coverage of general process measures in CRC is extensive. Process measures are available for diagnostic imaging, staging, surgical therapy, adjuvant chemotherapy, adjuvant radiation therapy, and colonoscopic surveillance. The highest rated measures were those related to chemotherapy (abstract submitted by Morse et al) and pathology reporting. There were no process measures for assessing the quality of: polyp removal, surgical management of stage IV rectal cancer, hepatic metastasis, chemotherapy for stage II colon cancer, stage IV rectal cancer, radiation for stage IV rectal cancer, and notes for endoscopy, surgery, chemotherapy and radiology - all because of lack of guidelines. CONCLUSIONS: Our evidence report suggests that we need to actively pursue the task of developing scientifically accurate quality measures for leverage points in the diagnosis and management of CRC; so we can evaluate the quality of care delivered by providers and initiate quality improvement activities, with the aim of providing better patient care. No significant financial relationships to disclose.
Patwardhan, MB; Samsa, GP; Michael, MA; Prosnitz, RG; Fisher, DA; Mantyh, CR; McCrory, DC
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