Deliver Optimal Care - National Cancer Plan
Ongoing improvements across our health care system are required to ensure that high-quality cancer care is available and affordable for all who need it. While health care delivery research can reveal what to do to improve routine cancer care, it is up to the government, industry, communities, and individuals to use research knowledge to produce the changes necessary to end cancer as we know it.
The State of Delivering Optimal Care Today
Important advances in early cancer detection, treatment, and survivorship care may be hindered by issues related to delivering high-quality cancer care. Issues include the increasing cost and complexity of treatment, disparities caused by barriers that prevent people from getting timely, culturally appropriate care, and financial toxicity.
Given these issues, research to improve cancer care delivery is extremely important. However, it is also challenging for several reasons:
- Improvement requires cooperation among clinicians and health systems that currently lack the time and resources to conduct research.
- Data collections needed for research are hard to access and are spread across electronic medical records, insurance claims, cancer registries, pharmacy databases, and other places throughout the health care system.
- Working with many different parts of the health care system to gather, format, and analyze these data is difficult, time consuming, and can be met with resistance.
Strategies to Advance Cancer Care Delivery
- Advance how cancer care is delivered, including through research identifying and addressing inequities to improve prevention, diagnosis, treatment, and survivorship.
- Increase collaboration between NCI and other government and private groups to capitalize on data, resources, and expertise that help enable cancer care delivery research.
- Work across government agencies and with private companies to promote widespread use of research-proven ways to lower cancer death rates and improve survivor well-being.
- Identify and put into effect best practices for public engagement, communication, and health literacy related to cancer risk, prevention, treatment, and survivorship that are tailored to community needs.
Examples of NCI-Supported Research to Achieve This Goal
- NCI is supporting research to address the primary care needs of cancer survivors, particularly those living with advanced cancer.
- The Improving the Management of symPtoms during And following Cancer Treatment (IMPACT) consortium is evaluating strategies to improve symptom management in cancer care.
- NCI’s publicly available PDQ cancer information summaries provide health professionals and anyone touched by cancer with comprehensive, research-backed, up-to-date information about topics related to cancer.