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Dr. Mackler’s Update

How can we use quality improvement to help us achieve our goal of reducing disparities in cancer? Additionally, how do we make sure the quality improvement work we do doesn’t create further disparities in care? These questions have been front and center for our team as we begin planning for the next year.

First, as we begin to focus more on the use of patient reported outcomes, we have the phenomenal chance to hear directly from our patients and identify those who need additional care and follow up. We can further our goals of having the patient centered in their care—both in the practice where they received their care and more generally by informing the consortium as a whole.

Second, we have a wonderful opportunity as we transition to a new database to collect and measure the data that will inform these questions. We’re excited to see if the improvements we make are showing the same degree of positivity for medically underserved populations. If they aren’t, we have even more opportunity to work together to minimize this gap.

Finally, our partnership with the Michigan Institute for Care Management and Transformation (MICMT) has allowed us to enlist all members of the care team by supporting specialty practices in the use of care management for patients with cancer. I’ve been so inspired by the interdisciplinary team of physicians, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, pharmacists, nurses, medical assistants, dieticians, social workers, practice administrators, palliative care specialists, financial counselors, and more coming together to support efforts to improve the quality of care the patient receives.

I hope you find this newsletter informative and that you also are as inspired by our practices as I am. I also look forward to being able to see you all in person, despite Zoom being able to keep us connected this last year.

Emily Mackler, PharmD, BCOP
Director, POEM