Roswell Park Cancer Institute Releases First “Report Card” On Quality

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

BUFFALO, NY — Roswell Park Cancer Institute (RPCI) today announced the release of Quality 2011, the Institute’s first comprehensive report card on its clinical trends and outcomes, as well as those key quality indicators that contribute significantly to a positive experience for RPCI patients and their families.

“As both healthcare consumers and providers, we at Roswell Park Cancer Institute believe that the best, most direct way of engendering the confidence of our cancer patients — and the physicians, payers and employers who entrust them to our care — is by applying current best practices and continually reviewing, measuring and sharing outcomes,” said Donald L. Trump, MD, FACP, President and CEO of RPCI. “Unsupported claims of bigger, better and safer no longer sway today’s educated healthcare consumers, who are now choosing their care based on measurable indicators of a facility’s quality.”
 
For healthcare professionals, payers and employers, quality cancer care is defined by clinical outcomes — particularly those that impact patient mortality and morbidity. And cost of care is increasingly important. These outcomes must be rooted in evidence-based medicine and best practices. From a patient and family member’s perspective, the definition of quality care is often expanded to include measures of individual needs and preferences.

The 122-page RPCI report takes a broad, balanced look at both types of measures, providing data on general and disease-site-specific trends and outcomes as well as patient quality-of-life services and programs. The report primarily uses national benchmarking data collected by the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results program of the National Cancer Institute, and the National Cancer Data Base of the American Cancer Society and the American College of Surgeons Commission on Cancer.

Data on patient demographics, best-practice treatments and survival are presented on five major cancers: breast, colorectal, prostate, lung and adult leukemia. In the section titled “Centers of Excellence,” outcomes data are also provided on robot-assisted surgeries for bladder, kidney and prostate cancers; blood and marrow transplants; and the use of radiation therapy for head and neck tumors.
 
As some experts have accurately pointed out, database comparisons of survival outcomes are not without inherent biases and require a discerning, often educated eye. “We knew going into this project the many challenges to interpreting survival data at face value, and agree that such comparisons do not necessarily reflect superiority of one cancer center over another. We caution the reader not to use the survival data as ‘stand-alone’ evidence of a center’s quality,” said Dr. Trump.
 
Quality 2011 also includes data on such quality indicators as patient and employee satisfaction, community outreach and education, clinical genetics, palliative care, clinical research studies, rehabilitation, advocacy, pain management and psychosocial and nursing care. In addition, informational sidebars, which contain patient testimonials, easy-to-understand definitions and historical facts, enhance the RPCI quality story.

The Institute will update the report annually and, as more data become available, expand its coverage of disease sites.

“For patients and their families, referring physicians, insurers and employers, it all boils down to who provides the best, most cost-effective comprehensive care. For us, it meant candidly sharing what we’ve learned and earned,” said Dr. Trump. “With this publication, we hope to demonstrate that our cancer care and services are driven and supported by science, are delivered safely with compassion and vision, are consistently monitored and revised for quality assurance, and are in complete alignment with our mission to understand, prevent and cure cancer.”

The mission of Roswell Park Cancer Institute (RPCI) is to understand, prevent and cure cancer. RPCI, founded in 1898, was one of the first cancer centers in the country to be named a National Cancer Institute-designated comprehensive cancer center and remains the only facility with this designation in Upstate New York. The Institute is a member of the prestigious National Comprehensive Cancer Network, an alliance of the nation’s leading cancer centers; maintains affiliate sites; and is a partner in national and international collaborative programs. For more information, visit RPCI’s website at http://www.roswellpark.org, call 1-877-ASK-RPCI (1-877-275-7724) or email askrpci@roswellpark.org.

Editor’s Note: A downloadable pdf of RPCI’s publication, Quality 2011, is available at www.roswellpark.org/quality.

Hard copies, which are in limited supply, will be available while quantities last, by calling 1-877-ASK-RPCI (1-877-275-7724).

Media Contact: 

Annie Deck-Miller, Senior Media Relations Manager
716-845-8593; annie.deck-miller@roswellpark.org