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 Volume V, Issue 3 June 2004 

In This Issue

Gymnast - ranked #1 in the Nation (see story on Page 4)

Gymnast - ranked #1 in the Nation (see story on Page 4)

Cancer Research Network - The Cancer Research Network (CRN) is a collaboration of 11 non-profit HMOs committed to the conduct of high-quality, public domain research in cancer control. The CRN is a project of NCI and AHRQ.

News from NCI
Cancer Care Quality Measures Project Launches Phase II

On May 3, a partnership of four federal agencies - including and spearheaded by NCI - completed contract negotiations with the non-profit National Quality Forum (NQF) to establish Phase II of the Cancer Care Quality Measures Project. This is a major public-private effort to identify evidence-based measures of cancer care quality for monitoring and improving care across the cancer continuum. Federal partners joining with NCI to help design and provide financial support for the project are the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

During Phase I of the project, the project steering committee endorsed seven priority areas for cancer quality measurement: treatment and diagnosis for breast, colorectal, and prostate cancers; prevention and screening; access, including clinical trials and culturally competent care; communication and coordination of care; and symptom management and end-of-life care. The committee, when it reconvenes this summer, will select three priority areas from these seven to be the focus of Phase II.

- Martin Brown, NCI

Ed's Corner of the World
News from the CRN PI Ed

Great to see so many of you in Dearborn at the Health Care Systems Research Network Conference. The CRN session at this year's conference highlighted the challenges and benefits of multi-site collaboration. Ann Geiger and Diana Buist anchored a lively panel describing the trade-offs inherent in centralizing (or decentralizing) data collection and aggregation. We have come to the conclusion that control and collaboration are not incompatible. Thanks to all who participated.

The Steering Committee discussed CRN's future. We must increase our publication productivity. The existing 13 manuscripts are terrific contributions, but we will be carefully scrutinized on this measure by reviewers, and more is better. We also need to demonstrate that the CRN is a national cancer resource beyond the research programs of our 11 health systems. However, we need to strike the appropriate balance between meeting the needs of our investigators and health plans, and the desire to broaden the availability of our data resources.

To guide us toward the next renewal, the Steering Committee agreed that a Strategic Planning Subcommittee should be convened to develop a blueprint for action. We'll report on this in greater detail in upcoming issues. As always, we welcome your candid input. Thanks!

Ed Signature

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