Skip to main content

Coleman Supportive Oncology Collaborative (CSOC)

As the national focus on supportive oncology and palliative medicine intensifies, the Coleman Foundation seized the opportunity to launch the Coleman Supportive Oncology Collaborative. The Supportive Oncology Collaborative is an ambitious initiative that builds upon the Foundation’s 25-years of support to improve cancer care. Through the Collaborative, the Foundation engaged the participation of 135 interdisciplinary healthcare professionals from 25 Chicago area cancer care institutions to create and implement new screening tools and gain agreement on standards of care. Cancer care institutions include academic, community, and safety net hospitals, community cancer support centers, palliative and hospice organizations and patient advocacy groups.

In 2013, the Institute of Medicine’s (IOM) report “Delivering High-Quality Cancer Care: Charting a New Course for a System in Crisis,” set in motion recommendations that include supportive oncology care. While the IOM report identified the problem “the crisis of cancer care”, the Coleman Supportive Oncology Collaborative focused on screening methods to find solutions to patient care concerns and delivering supportive services to address patient needs.

During Cycle 1, the CSOC helped improvement sites define standards for supportive oncology and the processes to identify and deliver services. A distress screening tool (compiled from nationally validated instruments) was developed, which addresses over 35 patient concerns. A survivorship screening tool was also developed to address issues of cancer patients. Along with developing the CSOC screening tools, three design teams developed a follow-up (guidance) document for each patient concern on the screening tools. Almost 100 (52 for distress, 47 for survivorship) follow-up documents have been developed to help clinical staff address patient concerns that were identified through screenings. In order to deliver appropriate supportive services, participants from the Collaborative gathered a list 500 cancer support resources for clinical staff to direct patients to follow-up care. All tools and resources are available at the website: Supportive Oncology Collaborative.

CSOC, Cycle 2

At the beginning of the CSOC cycle 1 effort, the Coleman Foundation identified measures of success for the Collaborative. High on the list of success factors was gaining hospital commitment to providing resources to supportive oncology services for all cancer patients or partnering with community organizations that offer services. Hospital administrations have supported the effort through hiring additional staff, budget commitments, management support, and adding various elements of supportive oncology to their services. While gaining hospital commitment is a measure of success, it is challenging to change cultures and to effect institutional change.

Thus, the Coleman Supportive Oncology Collaborative cycle 2 was formed to continue to build and expand the work resulting from cycle 1. During cycle 2, ten participating institutions in the Collaborative are working to:
• continue and expand screenings in clinics for cancer patients from cycle 1; continue to refer patients to appropriate services and community providers utilizing the follow-up reference documents, and sustain the effort;
• begin utilizing evidence-based screening tools from cycle 1 for other cancer patients;
• train clinical staff by enrolling in the supportive oncology education series, a 26-modules program for health professionals with approval by the National Comprehensive Cancer Network and available CME;
• gain measurable increased commitment from hospital administration to offer or refer to resources for supportive oncology.
For a full description of the CSOC – Adult program, cycle 1 and cycle 2, view our blog post: Coleman Supportive Oncology Collaborative (CSOC).

Coleman Supportive Oncology Collaborative for Children with Cancer (CSOC-CC)

Comparable to the CSOC – Adult program, the Foundation funded the Coleman Supportive Oncology Collaborative for Children with Cancer (CSOC-CC), which included participation from by seven Chicago area hospitals. Hospitals collaborate to implement processes to improve pediatric/adolescent supportive oncology; contribute to an understanding of pediatric/adolescent supportive oncology practices; identify opportunities for improvement through shared tools and methods, and organizational improvements; and develop a long-term supportive oncology plan directed at improving the quality of life of pediatric and adolescent patients.

The main objective of the Children’s Collaborative is to address and implement process improvements in supportive oncology service delivery, and put processes in place that are sustainable. The effort is intended to meet Coleman’s vision of success, which is to help cancer patients be engaged in their cancer treatment, utilize supportive oncology services and achieve the best possible outcome and quality of life throughout the cancer journey.

For a full description of the Coleman Supportive Oncology Collaborative for Children with Cancer, cycle 1 and cycle 2, view our blogpost: Coleman Supportive Oncology Collaborative for Children with Cancer (CSOC-CC).