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Abstract

The Cancer Quality Alliance (CQA), a national alliance advocating for improvements in the quality of cancer care in America, presents a set of 5 case studies that depict a vision of quality cancer care and a “Blueprint” for actions to realize this vision. The CQA Blueprint case studies feature patients with soft tissue sarcoma, breast cancer, rectal cancer, and Hodgkin disease and focus on key phases in the cancer care trajectory: detection, diagnosis, treatment, post-treatment/survivorship, and end of life. Each case study begins with a patient summary, follows with a worst- and a best-case scenario, and concludes with a discussion section identifying “what went right” in the best case and “what went wrong” in the worst case. Steps to be taken by key stakeholders, for example, health care providers, insurers/payers, policy makers, and patients and families, are then outlined. By juxtaposing a worst- and best-case scenario, the cancer care case studies elucidate the origins of complex health care problems and clarify the actions needed to overcome them. The CQA will make the case studies available for use as teaching tools to give health care providers and patients themselves descriptions of how the health care system should work to achieve the ultimate benefit for an individual living with, through, and beyond a diagnosis of cancer. The CQA adopted the definition of quality health care of the Institute of Medicine, and the analysis of care provided in the discussion section of each case study is framed using 6 quality improvement aims identified in the Institute of Medicine's report, Crossing the Quality Chasm: A New Health System for the 21st Century. Health care quality may be judged according to its safety, effectiveness, patient-centeredness, timeliness, efficiency, and equity.1