The Georgia Cancer Quality Information Exchange (The Exchange) is an initiative of the Georgia Cancer Coalition to design, retrieve and aggregate clinical information and public health data in order to assess and advance the progress of cancer care in Georgia.
The initial focus of The Exchange is a response to the 2005 Institute of Medicine report, Assessing the Quality of Cancer Care: An Approach to Measurement in Georgia which presents a set of 52 top priority quality measures for cancer care in Georgia. The measures address all stages of the cancer continuum:
- Screening and Early Detection
- Diagnosis and Staging
- Treatment and Palliation
Some of the metrics deal with all cancers combined, while others target the four adult cancers that together are the most prevalent and deadly in Georgia:
- Breast cancer
- Prostate cancer
- Colorectal cancer
- Lung cancer
The long-term vision for The Exchange is based on developing a technology infrastructure to support collaboration of key stakeholders, development of a “dashboard” of cancer-specific metrics and specific programs to drive performance improvement in cancer care in Georgia. Initial focus is on using the IOM metrics as the foundation for aggregating near-real-time clinical data from all of the state's COC-certified cancer care facilities and associated physician practices and public health data from the Georgia Comprehensive Cancer Registry and other sources.
The Exchange will provide tools that have the potential to:
- Indicate strong and weak areas and trends;
- Inform ongoing cancer control planning and effective allocation of resources;
- Stimulate process improvements at participating institutions;
- Increase adherence to the most current practice standards;
- Improve patient-centered care and outcomes; and
- Help eliminate geographic and population-based disparities in cancer in Georgia.
The Exchange is currently in its pilot phase, engaging cancer centers around the state as Demonstration Partners to:
- Test the IOM quality measures
- Establish common definitions, standards, data collection protocols and data validation
- Collaborate with their peers from other organizations to improve clinical performance
- Apply research and best practices in clinical settings
To date, each demonstration project has addressed the measures applicable to one of the four cancer sites, along with overall cancer measures. To allow reporting of aggregated data from more than one project partner, the demonstration phase will comprise two to three projects for each of the four disease sites. Demonstration Partners have already made process changes that have improved patient care and enhanced operational efficiency.
The Coalition is coordinating a technology visioning process concurrent with the demonstration projects to determine how to implement the centralized, statewide dashboard and collaboration tools.
The Exchange holds promise as a model for other states' comprehensive cancer control efforts and may also be useful in charting progress for other diseases and public health concerns.
For further information:
Quality Information Exchange Fact Sheet