UCI Health oncology team again earns high-quality care recognition

Comprehensive cancer center among first in the nation to be re-certified

February 27, 2014

The UCI Health Division of Hematology/Oncology is among the nation’s first practices to be re-certified by American Society of Clinical Oncology for high-quality patient care. The ASCO Quality Oncology Practice Initiative assures patients and their families that an oncology practice meets rigorous standards for high-quality cancer care.

“We are incredibly proud to have attained this recertification,” said Dr. Edward L. Nelson, chief of the division of hematology/oncology and associate professor, department of medicine in the UC Irvine School of Medicine and in the department of molecular biology & biochemistry, UC Irvine School of Biological Sciences.

“Since we were among the first class of QOPI-certified practices in 2010, we have maintained a very real and substantive commitment to providing our patients the highest quality of care, setting the standard for cancer treatment in our community, and in the education of future clinicians in the highest standards of practice. This re-certification is a concrete measure of that longstanding commitment to quality and excellence.”

UC Irvine’s hematologists-oncologists treat patients at the University of California, Irvine Medical Center and are members of the National Cancer Institute-designated Chao Family Comprehensive Cancer Center, one of only 45 NCI-designated comprehensive cancer centers in the nation and the only one in Orange County. It is the county’s only cancer center whose missions include advancing scientific research and clinical trials in all phases that lead to potentially life-saving drugs and treatments.

The Quality Oncology Practice Initiative is a voluntary self-assessment and improvement program developed by ASCO to help hematology and oncology practices gauge the caliber of care they provide. Encompassing at least 80 quality measures, it lets practices compare their performance data to that of others across the country and identify areas for improvement. It is a three-year certification. The QOPI® Certification Program was launched in January 2010. For the past three years the UCI Health Hematology/Oncology practice has met or exceeded over 90 percent of the more than 80 measures surveyed.

“The certification reinforces that physicians at an academic medical center can meet the highest standards for delivery of quality cancer care while providing disease specific expertise and complements our strengths in laboratory research and clinical trials that have always been hallmarks of our program and which embody our three missions; Discover, Teach, Heal.” Nelson said.

UCI Health first achieved QOPI certification in July 2010. It was the first practice in California, the first at an academic medical center and the first practice in the U.S. directly affiliated with a NCI-designated comprehensive cancer center to obtain QOPI certification. Since then, more than 200 practices have been certified in the first program of its kind for oncology in the United States, including such notable institutions as Stanford, UCSD and M.D. Anderson, each in2013. UCI’s recertification places it among the first class of hematology-oncology practices to do so.

“Practices that choose to apply for recertification through QOPI demonstrate their continued commitment to the pursuit of clinical care excellence,” said ASCO President Clifford A. Hudis, MD, FACP. “The QOPI Certification Program helps such practices assess the level of care they provide to their patients and demonstrates their commitment to maintaining quality and lifelong learning.”

The QOPI Certification Program is a project of ASCO’s Institute for Quality, an ASCO affiliate dedicated to innovative quality improvement programs. For more information, please visit: http://qopi.asco.org/certification.html.

About ASCO: Founded in 1964, the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) is the world’s leading professional organization representing physicians who care for people with cancer. With nearly 35,000 members, ASCO is committed to improving cancer care through scientific meetings, educational programs and peer-reviewed journals. ASCO is supported by its affiliate organization, the Conquer Cancer Foundation, which funds ground-breaking research and programs that make a tangible difference in the lives of people with cancer. For ASCO information and resources, visit www.asco.org. Patient-oriented cancer information is available at www.cancer.net.

UCI Health comprises the clinical, medical education and research enterprises of the University of California, Irvine. Patients can access UCI Health at physician offices throughout Orange County and at its main campus, UC Irvine Medical Center in Orange, Calif., a 412-bed acute care hospital that provides tertiary and quaternary care, ambulatory and specialty medical clinics, behavioral health and rehabilitation. U.S. News & World Report has listed it among America’s Best Hospitals for 13 consecutive years. UC Irvine Medical Center is home to Orange County’s only National Cancer Institute-designated comprehensive cancer center, high-risk perinatal/neonatal program, Level I trauma center and Level II pediatric trauma center, and is the primary teaching hospital for UC Irvine School of Medicine. UCI Health serves a region of more than 3 million people in Orange County, western Riverside County and southeast Los Angeles County. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

About the University of California, Irvine: Located in coastal Orange County, near a thriving employment hub in one of the nation’s safest cities, UC Irvine was founded in 1965. One of only 62 members of the Association of American Universities, it’s ranked first among U.S. universities under 50 years old by the London-based Times Higher Education. The campus has produced three Nobel laureates and is known for its academic achievement, premier research, innovation and anteater mascot. Led by Chancellor Michael Drake since 2005, UC Irvine has more than 28,000 students and offers 192 degree programs. It’s Orange County’s second-largest employer, contributing $4.3 billion annually to the local economy. 

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