The American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) has received funding under a five-year cooperative agreement between the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Council of Medical Specialty Societies (CMSS) for a project to improve rates of recommended vaccinations for adults with cancer and blood disorders. ASCO will select seven health systems to participate. Participation will involve performance measurement, performance improvement, education, and other activities. Each health system will receive up to $250,000 in initial funding in 2022, and an estimated total of $750,000 over the five-year project.
ASCO will also provide participants with clinical guidance, assist in the development of performance measures, develop educational resources for providers and patients, and disseminate best practices identified during the project.
- Award Amount: Up to $250,000 in 2022; an estimated total of $750,000 over the five-year project
- Number of Participants: Seven
- Performance Period: Upon award through September 29, 2026
- Eligible Recipients: Healthcare systems, hospitals, and private practices that managed at least 10,000 active hematology and oncology patients in the most recent calendar or fiscal year, OR who meet one or more high priority criteria in treatment of underserved populations, who agree to participate in project activities and who meet the other minimum requirements outlined in the health system application (See Health System Information Sheet).
- Project Management: Awarded health systems will be expected to utilize funding to employ a Project Coordinator, appoint a Physician Champion to oversee project activities in the health system, and perform at least one quality improvement activity and one information technology activity.
- Quality Training: Awarded health systems’ staff will participate in ASCO’s Quality Training Program (QTP). ASCO’s QTP will provide Health Systems with training on quality improvement methodologies, education related to project goals, and coaching support throughout the project. Health system teams will be required to select a project related to either capturing vaccination status or increasing vaccination compliance. Health systems will work on their project in-between training sessions and report progress at each training session. ASCO will initiate the QTP in year one, with additional sessions, coaching, and dissemination of results taking place in future years.
- Performance Measurement: ASCO and CMSS will establish performance measures for use in this project. These measures will be reported by awarded Health Systems throughout the five-year period to establish baseline performance, determine effects of education and process interventions, and monitor continued success through statistical process control. Reporting of measures may require clinical data from electronic health records and immunization information systems, patient surveys, and other data collection tools.
Performance measures will include, at least, the proportion of patients receiving an immunization status assessment, the initiation and frequency of provider counseling regarding disease risk and vaccination recommendations, and the proportion of patients receiving vaccinations following provider counseling.
- Clinical Guidance: ASCO will develop a clinical practice guideline, or endorse or modify an existing guideline, on the role of vaccination in adult cancer patients. ASCO will engage an expert panel of clinicians with specialized training and/or experience in this topic. ASCO will include guideline materials on ASCO.org and submit for consideration of publication in one or more ASCO journals. Note: while clinical guidance activities may initiate in year one, publication of a final guideline will be dependent on evolving clinical evidence on the effectiveness and appropriate use of vaccines and may require additional time for completion.
- Professional Education: Based upon needs identified in Quality Training activities, ASCO will develop an online course for clinicians on addressing vaccine hesitancy among patients with cancer. This training course will be available first for participating health systems and will later be made available for other clinicians on asco.org.
- Patient Information: Based upon needs identified in Quality Training activities, ASCO will develop two patient information fact sheets, to be produced in English, Spanish, Standard Chinese, Korean, and Vietnamese, to address vaccine awareness and vaccine hesitancy. ASCO will provide a sample supply of these fact sheets to each participating health system for use in the project and later make them available for use by other Health Systems via ASCO’s patient education website, Cancer.Net.
Health System Applications
Health systems interested in participating in this project are required to apply by April 29, 2022. Applications must include a letter of support from a senior officer of the health system. For questions or more information, please contact Hazel Afroilan, Quality Performance Improvement and Grants Manager at firstname.lastname@example.org.