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Cancer Care is in Crisis Mode

By Lisa Schulmeister, RN, MN, APRN-BC, OCN, FAAN
PUBLISHED THURSDAY, JANUARY 1, 1970
The Institute of Medicine (IOM) issued its first report on the quality of cancer care in the United States back in 1999. As everyone is aware, there have been many developments in health care—some good and some not so good—that have happened since then. The IOM says that our cancer care delivery system now is “in crisis” in its updated report issued on 9/10/13.

The IOM report notes continuing barriers to care, the growing demand for cancer care, rising costs, the complexity of the disease and its treatment, and a shrinking workforce skilled in cancer care deliver. The IOM makes ten recommendations for improving cancer care, and they are 1) providing patients with understandable information about cancer prognosis, treatment benefits and harms, palliative care, psychosocial support, and costs; 2) providing patients with end-of-life care that meets their needs, values, and preferences; 3) ensuring coordinated and comprehensive patient-centered care; 4) ensuring that all individuals caring for people with cancer have appropriate core competencies; 5) expanding the scope of data collection to include older adults and patients with comorbid conditions; 6) utilizing a common data set to capture patient-reported outcomes; 7) developing a healthcare information technology system that enables real-time analysis of data on patients treated in a variety of settings; 8) developing a national quality reporting program; 9) implementing a national strategy to reduce disparities in access; and 10) improving the affordability of cancer care via payment reform and elimination of waste.

The full report is available at http://www.iom.edu/Reports/2013/Delivering-High-Quality-Cancer-Care-Charting-a-New-Course-for-a-System-in-Crisis/Report-Brief091013.aspx.
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