UPMC CancerCenter’s Ellis to Present at Quality Symposium

By: Jennifer C. Yates

For the first time in its history, the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) is holding a symposium on quality in cancer care to explore such issues as  reducing unnecessary testing, improving communication between patients and physicians, and using technology to improve care.

Peter Ellis, M.D.
Peter Ellis, M.D., director of the medical oncology network at UPMC CancerCenter, will be giving an oral presentation, one of more than 300 abstracts at ASCO’s Quality Care Symposium in San Diego starting tomorrow.
“Our focus is always on providing the best care for our patients, and we are continually looking at quality issues to ensure we are doing just that,” Dr. Ellis said.
He will be presenting about how Via OncologyPathways is used at UPMC. The program was developed at UPMC CancerCenter in 2005 and helps oncologists to determine the best course of treatment for each patient, depending on the type and stage of cancer. The computerized tool was developed  to ensure consistency in care, and  the pathways are continuously updated by physicians to reflect the latest research.  More than 120 oncologists at UPMC use Via Oncology Pathways.
“When appropriately developed and implemented, clinical pathways are a solution to improving the quality and cost effectiveness of cancer care by enhancing physician decision-making, standardizing care and ensuring access to evidence-based, personalized medicine,” Dr. Ellis said. “We continue to expand the scope of our pathways to include diagnostic studies, surveillance protocols and end-of-life prompts.”