Ask survivors to place a value on a future free from cancer, and they will say it's priceless.
Put the question to a growing number of faculty and employees, and many will point to a wide range of initiatives designed to define, measure, share -- and improve -- the value of MD Anderson care.
"Value is defined as cost of care as a function of the desired outcome -- achieving the best possible outcome for the patient's cancer at the lowest cost necessary to achieve that desired outcome," says Randal Weber, M.D., professor and chair of the Department of Head and Neck Surgery.
Known as the "science of improvement," this new dimension of research is helping prepare MD Anderson for an era of health care laws, reduced reimbursements, tougher competition and a mandate for public transparency.
Such research and data also can drive policy, improve care and enhance patient satisfaction.
Working in partnership with MD Anderson's quality and performance improvement groups, the Institute for Cancer Care Excellence has launched initiatives to look for ways to eliminate waste, reduce costs, quantify quality care and increase revenues. It's new-generation research that goes behind the scenes, often dissecting costs, processes and data, but always focusing on the patient.
This is just one piece of a larger story demonstrating how MD Anderson is preparing for the future of health care.