Magazine ed*
ed* Nr. 01/2020

Treatment guidelines, certification – on the path to European quality standards

ed* Nr. 01/2020 – Chapter 5

Quality is also vital when it comes to the treatment and care of cancer patients. Quality assurance plays a major role. It ensures the best possible outcome of therapy and is essential for helping patients, who are in a difficult situation, gain the necessary confidence in their therapists.

The German National Cancer Plan of 2008 established a quality cycle in oncology. Approximately 200 quality indicators have been developed using evidence-based medical guidelines, which in turn form the basis for the certification of treatment centres. The relevant data from the centres and the clinical cancer registries shows how the guidelines have been implemented in everyday clinical practice. So far, 26 evidence-based medical treatment guidelines have been developed.

In addition, the German Cancer Society, has published 29 patient guidelines that offer medical information in an easy-to understand format that is a good, impartial source of information for patients and their relatives.

Currently, a total of 132 oncology centres have received certification. These are centres with a broader professional approach and centres of excellence where research is also carried out. In addition, there are many hundreds of organ cancer centres specialising in just one area. Certification has long since become an international issue. The certification system of the European Cancer Centres (ECC) has been in place since 2016. Today, international expertise flows into the certification process. There are around 1,500 certified cancer centres throughout Europe. The European Union provides financial support for this certification process. The consistent deepening of cooperation shows the political will to move towards European-wide standards. Continuously improving treatment is an essential element in the fight against cancer and in increasing the quality of life of those affected in both their work and private lives.