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Keywords:

  • breast cancer;
  • quality;
  • treatment

Abstract:  To provide evaluations of cancer care quality, the Commission on Cancer and the National Quality Forum (NQF) established three breast cancer treatment quality measures. Programs that submit data to the National Cancer Data Base (NCDB) can receive feedback on their compliance with these quality measures, and perform comparisons with other member institutions. Data received by a county hospital from the NCDB revealed poor compliance. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the accuracy of submitted data, identify contributing factors and initiate processes to improve. Reported 2004 NCDB quality measure compliance was 26% for radiation, 61.4% for chemotherapy, and 21.3% for hormonal therapy. Retrospective treatment review was performed. Data collected included: patient demographics, pathology, final surgical intervention, adjuvant treatment, and quality measure compliance. Sources included two electronic records, an electronic results depository, two paper charts, a pharmacy data base, and a “shadow chart.” Applicability of and compliance with these quality measures was noted. Of 540 records reviewed, 132 met final study criteria. Actual compliance differed significantly from NCDB rates and were found to be 97% for radiation, 98% for chemotherapy, and 88% for hormonal therapy. Process analysis revealed the need for tumor registry staff to evaluate all sources of data. A significant problem was neo-adjuvant chemotherapy and the requirement to submit NCDB data within 6 months of initial diagnosis. Processes and education initiated for tumor registry staff, medical records personnel, physicians, and other care providers resulted in significantly improved 2007 compliance of data submitted to the NCDB. Prior to public reporting, institutions should perform NQF quality measure compliance assessments, confirm accuracy, and initiate educational processes/imperatives.