Sylvester Achieves Certification for Excellence

The Miller School’s Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center has achieved three-year certification by the Quality Oncology Practice Initiative of the American Society of Clinical Oncology for excellence in cancer care. Part of UHealth – the University of Miami Health System, Sylvester is the only such-designated practice in South Florida and one of only a few academic cancer centers in the country that participate in the Quality Oncology Practice Initiative (QOPI).

“This distinction recognizes excellence in cancer care based upon careful auditing and data collection related to the type of care we deliver … and on our adherence to evidence-based guidelines as well as adherence to the American Society of Clinical Oncology and the Oncology Nursing Society safety standards for chemotherapy use,” said Joseph Rosenblatt, M.D., interim director of Sylvester.

The QOPI is a voluntary program developed by the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) to aid oncology practices in self-assessment. Participating practices receive their own results as well as a comparative assessment based on the results of other practices around the country. The QOPI Certification Program provides quality assessment measures, improvement goals, learning opportunities and specific, care-related feedback.

In order to achieve QOPI Certification, the practice must first submit data related to patient care for general measures, and select disease-specific modules such as breast cancer, colorectal cancer, Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, symptom/toxicity management as well as end-of-life care.

QOPI then evaluates the data according to the submitted quality indicators, which were originally determined by a pilot group of practicing oncologists. Among them: Were anti-nausea drugs given prior to chemotherapy? Did the patient receive a full explanation of chemotherapy? Was chemotherapy given too close to the end of life?

Mohammad Jahanzeb, M.D., F.A.C.P., a member of the QOPI steering group and medical director of Sylvester at Deerfield Beach, said Sylvester’s participation in the certification program ultimately benefits patients.

“First and foremost, it improves patient care and makes care more uniform,” Jahanzeb said. “And secondly, it shows a commitment to continuous quality improvement that is now accepted as evidence of such for the purpose of fellowship training program certification by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education and the recertification program of the American Board of Internal Medicine.”

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