Dr. Christopher R. Friese
Daily News: Why have you decided to attend the 2016 ASCO Quality Care Symposium?
Dr. Friese: Cancer care is at an inflection point. Promising diagnostic and therapeutic approaches continue to emerge, yet we have not made as much progress as we can in assuring all patients receive access to high-quality, safe, and efficient cancer care. The ASCO Quality Care Symposium brings the leading researchers and clinical leaders together to share what's working, as well as to identify new areas for research and implementation.
Daily News: What information are you most interested in taking away from this year’s Symposium?
Dr. Friese: I'm very interested in learning about the innovations clinical leaders are testing in their facilities. Often, the best ideas come from the clinical experts and leaders. I'm excited to learn about promising interventions that we, as researchers, might be able to rigorously test.
Daily News: How does the quality of care affect your day-to-day work?
Dr. Friese: I have a foot in clinical practice and a foot in research on the quality of cancer care. Every day I see patients, the gaps in care and fragmentation are visible; the burden on patients and families is clear. We, as a community of clinicians and researchers, have the obligation and the opportunity to improve cancer care.
Daily News: Why is it important for researchers to attend the Quality Care Symposium?
Dr. Friese: For too long, we have separated clinical inquiry from quality improvement. Our patients and our society expect us to do better. If we want cancer care to improve, we need to learn together and develop a cadre of researchers who are excited about this topic and can be successful in their projects. The explicit attention on quality-of-cancer-care research will help us integrate these perspectives.
Daily News: What sessions are you interested in attending during this year’s Symposium?
Dr. Friese: Mary Dixon-Woods, BA, DipStat, MSc, DPhil, FAcSS, FMedsci, is an international expert in quality improvement techniques and importantly, why they do—and don't—work. I think the insights she will give in her presentation during the General Session 1, “What Works in Improving Cancer Care, What Doesn’t Work, and Why,” will be valuable to the audience.
The General Session “How Do We Assess Quality in the Age of Precision Medicine?,” chaired by my colleague Allison Kurian, MD, MSc, brings together national thought leaders from clinical care, diagnostics, and payers. We need to identify how to evaluate quality in an era of precision medicine, and these speakers are the right ones to launch the conversation.
Finally, the Breakout Session “Using Patient Portals to Obtain Patient-Reported Data for Quality Assessment” will be interesting. Many cancer centers are struggling to figure out how to use their expensive electronic health records for maximal benefit. Ethan Basch, MD, MSc, and colleagues will give us food for thought.