How Can We Deliver High-Quality Cancer Care in a Healthcare System in Crisis?

Deborah K. Mayer

quality, cancer care, workforce
CJON 2014, 18(4), 381-382. DOI: 10.1188/14.CJON.381-382

This provocative question was addressed in a report from the Institute of Medicine ([IOM], 2013), Delivering High-Quality Cancer Care: Charting a New Course for a System in Crisis. An interdisciplinary committee synthesized many of the changes that are occurring in our society and health care that will challenge our existing cancer care system. These changes are familiar to many of us: an aging population along with the resulting increase in the number of cancer survivors, an inadequate number of and increased demand for trained healthcare providers, and rising healthcare costs. The IOM report recommended a framework of six interconnected components for improving the quality of cancer care (see Figures 1 and 2). Each of these components is worthy of an editorial and more. I would like to focus, however, on one of them: an adequately staffed, trained, and coordinated workforce. And, for good reason, as I want to retire someday and know that others will be taking my place in caring for cancer survivors across the care continuum. So let's explore this one component in more detail.

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