Luke Miller, MD, recently received a three-year appointment as cancer liaison physician for Franciscan Health Hammond.
Cancer liaison physicians are an integral part of cancer programs accredited by the American College of Surgeons Commission on Cancer.
Dr. Miller is among a national network of more than 1,500 volunteer physicians who are responsible for providing leadership and direction to establish, maintain, and support their facilities' cancer programs. Dr. Miller, who has a significant interest in the diagnosis and treatment of patients with malignant diseases, is a member of the multidisciplinary cancer committee at Franciscan Health Hammond and Dyer, institutions dedicated to facilitating the delivery of comprehensive quality cancer care.
Cancer liaison physicians are responsible for evaluating, interpreting, and reporting their facilities’ performance data through the National Cancer Data Base and facilitating quality improvement initiatives based on data findings.
In addition, the cancer liaison physician is responsible for leading Commission on Cancer initiatives within the cancer program and collaborating with agencies such as the American Cancer Society on behalf of the hospital. The commission collects data from its accredited cancer programs and provides tools for these programs to facilitate analysis of patterns of diagnosis, treatment, and quality of care for patients treated at the hospital.
The National Cancer Data Base, a joint program of the Commission on Cancer of the American College of Surgeons and the American Cancer Society, is a nationwide oncology outcomes database for more than 1,500 Commission-accredited cancer programs in the United States and Puerto Rico.
Some 70 percent of all newly diagnosed cases of cancer in the United States are captured at the institutional level and reported to the data base. The cancer liaison physician works with the cancer program staff to facilitate the submission, presentation, use, and interpretation of data. Analyzing and sharing these data with the cancer committee can have a positive impact on cancer patient care at the facility.
The Commission on Cancer is a consortium of professional organizations dedicated to improving survival and quality of life for cancer patients through standard-setting, prevention, research, education, and monitoring of comprehensive quality care.
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