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Vanderbilt-Ingram joins CancerLinQ quality initiative

Feb. 9, 2023, 9:22 AM


by Tom Wilemon

Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center is now participating in CancerLinQ, a technology initiative focused on improving patient care that tracks quality metrics in real time.

A subsidiary of the American Society of Clinical Oncology, CancerLinQ is a mission-driven, nonprofit health technology company with a goal of improving quality of care, improving health outcomes for all patients with cancer, and advancing evidence-based research. Data are collected automatically from the EHRs and secondary data systems from participating clinics and hospitals and are displayed in SmartLinQ, CancerLinQ’s secure quality and insights platform, to allow cancer center leaders to monitor quality care measures and identify opportunities for improvements.

“CancerLinQ helps us ensure we are delivering quality care to our oncology patients based on national standards,” said Travis Osterman, DO, MS, director of Cancer Clinical Cancer Informatics at Vanderbilt-Ingram.  “We are interested in tracking key metrics like how long does it take to get a cancer surgery scheduled? How long do patients wait to start chemotherapy following surgeries when needed? Did each patient get the appropriate follow-up?”

Osterman served on the CancerLinQ physician advisory committee from 2016 until 2021, when he rotated off. The PAC provided guidance on platform design and applications to enhance subscriber value, with respect to quality improvement, clinical care, and research. The applications empower clinicians to improve care for individual patients when their cases are outliers from quality care metrics. However, the system has technical safeguards to protect identifiable patient data in accordance with HIPAA guidelines.

ASCO began working to set up CancerLinQ more than a decade ago to support the Quality Oncology Practice Initiative, which encompassed 25 measures to evaluate the performances of oncology practices. CancerLinQ’s SmartLinQ now offers a variety of tools to improve the quality of care, support decision making, and reduce administrative burdens for oncology practices.

More than 100 oncology practices are now part of the CancerLinQ network.

“We hope that we are already delivering a very high level of quality across all domains, but this helps us get even better visibility into all the areas where we might be able to improve,” Osterman said. “As we make improvements, we are able to better visualize the impact and ensure we are providing the highest level of care to our patients.”

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