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Quality measurement and system change of cancer care delivery.

Haggstrom DA, Doebbeling BN. Quality measurement and system change of cancer care delivery. Medical care. 2011 Dec 1; 49 Suppl:S21-7.

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Cancer care quality measurement and system change may serve as a case example for larger possibilities in the health care system related to other diseases. Cancer care quality gaps and variation exist across both technical and patient-centered cancer quality measures, especially among vulnerable populations. There is a need to develop measures that address the following dimensions of quality and its context: disparities, overuse, patient-centeredness, and uncertainty. Developments that may promote system change in cancer care delivery include changes in the information market, organizational accountability, and consumer empowerment. Information market changes include public cancer care quality reporting, enabled by health information exchange, and incentivized by pay-for-performance. Moving organizational accountability, reimbursement, and quality measurement from individual episodes of care to multiple providers providing coordinated cancer care may address quality gaps associated with the fragmentation of care delivery. Consumer empowerment through new technologies, such as personal health records, may lead to the collection of patient-centered quality measures and promote patient self-management. Across all of these developments, leadership and ongoing research to guide informed system changes will be necessary to transform the cancer care delivery system.

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