National Quality Measures for Breast Centers (NQMBC): A Robust Quality Tool

Bellingham Breast Center, University of Washington, Bellingham, WA, USA.
Annals of Surgical Oncology (Impact Factor: 3.93). 10/2009; 17(2):377-85. DOI: 10.1245/s10434-009-0729-5
Source: PubMed


Measuring and improving quality of care is of primary interest to patients, clinicians, and payers. The National Consortium of Breast Centers (NCBC) has created a unique program to assess and compare the quality of interdisciplinary breast care provided by breast centers across the country.
In 2005 the NCBC Quality Initiative Committee formulated their initial series of 37 measurements of breast center quality, eventually called the National Quality Measures for Breast Centers (NQMBC). Measures were derived from published literature as well as expert opinion. An interactive website was created to enter measurement data from individual breast centers and to provide customized comparison reports. Breast centers submit information using data they collect over a single month on consecutive patients. Centers can compare their results with centers of similar size and demographic or compare themselves to all centers who supplied answers for individual measures. New data may be submitted twice yearly. Serially submitted data allow centers to compare themselves over time. NQMBC random audits confirm accuracy of submitted data. Early results on several initial measures are reported here.
Over 200 centers are currently submitting data to the NQMBC via the Internet without charge. These measures provide insight regarding timeliness of care provided by radiologists, surgeons, and pathologists. Results are expressed as the mean average, as well as 25th, 50th, and 75th percentiles for each metric. This sample of seven measures includes data from over 30,000 patients since 2005, representing a powerful database. In addition, comparison results are available every 6 months, recognizing that benchmarks may change over time.
A real-time web-based quality improvement program facilitates breast center input, providing immediate comparisons with other centers and results serially over time. Data may be used by centers to recognize high-quality care they provide or to identify areas for quality improvement. Initial results demonstrate the power and potential of web-based tools for data collection and analysis from hundreds of centers who care for thousands of patients.

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    • "Whether QI scores may qualify hospitals in the certification of breast cancer centres is a moot point. We could propose to follow the example of the National Quality Measures for Breast Care (NQMBC), which uses the degree of participation to on-line registration of the answers to a set of quality questions to grant 3 levels of certification for quality breast health care [17,36]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Because breast cancer is a major public health issue, it is particularly important to measure the quality of the care provided to patients. Survival rates are affected by the timeliness of care, and waiting times constitute key quality criteria. The aim of this study was to develop and validate a set of quality indicators (QIs) relative to the timeliness and organisation of care in new patients with infiltrating, non-inflammatory and metastasis-free breast cancer undergoing surgery. The ultimate aim was to use these QIs to compare hospitals. The method of QI construction and testing was developed by COMPAQ-HPST. We first derived a set of 8 QIs from consensus guidelines with the aid of experts and professional associations and then tested their metrological properties in a panel of 60 volunteer hospitals. We assessed feasibility using a grid exploring 5 dimensions, discriminatory power using the Gini coefficient as a measure of dispersion, and inter-observer reliability using the Kappa coefficient. Overall, 3728 records were included in the analyses. All 8 QIs showed acceptable feasibility (but one QI was subject to misinterpretation), fairly strong agreement between observers (Kappa = 0.66), and wide variations in implementation among hospitals (Gini coefficient < 0.45 except for QI 6 (patient information)). They are thus suitable for use to compare hospitals and measure quality improvement. Of the 8 QIs, 3 are ready for nationwide implementation (time to surgery, time to postoperative multidisciplinary team meeting (MDTM), conformity of MDTM). Four are suitable for use only in hospitals offering surgery with on-site postoperative treatment (waiting time to first appointment after surgery, patient information, time to first postoperative treatment, and traceability of information relating to prognosis). Currently, in the French healthcare system, a patient receives cancer care from different institutions whose databases cannot as yet be easily merged. Nationwide implementation of QIs covering the entire care pathway will thus be a challenge.
    BMC Health Services Research 06/2012; 12(1):167. DOI:10.1186/1472-6963-12-167 · 1.71 Impact Factor
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    European Breast Cancer Conference; 03/2010
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    ABSTRACT: The National Consortium of Breast Centers defines "quality" of breast cancer care as "accurate evaluation and appropriate services ... in a timely manner." We sought to determine timeliness of care and relationship to patient satisfaction. The electronic medical records of breast cancer patients seen at a breast center from 2004 through 2007 were retrospectively reviewed. Dates of patient service were audited. A postal survey was then conducted to determine patient satisfaction with timeliness. Median time interval in business days from abnormal screening mammogram to diagnostic evaluation and core needle biopsy was 6 days. Median time intervals from core needle biopsy to core needle biopsy pathology report and then subsequent surgical consultation and breast cancer operation were 1, 3, and 7 days, respectively. Breast MRI, systemic imaging, plastic surgery consultation, type of surgery, and patient choice prolonged time to treatment. More than 90% of breast cancer patients who responded to our postal survey had their expectations met or exceeded for the dates of service provided for diagnostic evaluation and treatment. Evaluation of timeliness as a quality indicator for breast cancer care is complex and requires an assessment of whether patient expectations were met for dates of service. Factors that prolong time to treatment, such as additional imaging, should be considered for risk adjustment for peer performance comparison and compliance with published timeliness target goals.
    Journal of the American College of Surgeons 04/2010; 210(4):449-55. DOI:10.1016/j.jamcollsurg.2010.01.015 · 5.12 Impact Factor
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