FAQs on QA scheme
01. Does the European QA scheme guarantee also the professional personnel is qualified?
02. How are you developing the European QA scheme?
A wide team of experts, the Quality Assurance Development Group (QASDG), who work on a voluntary basis, without been remunerated, have been selected through an open call with a transparent procedure. These experts represent an inclusive range of competences; in fact, they include medical doctors, nurses, quality managers, healthcare managers, patients’ advocates, and legal experts. Under JRC co-ordination, they are all pulling together their competences, working both from remote and in face to face meetings usually held every three months. Their discussions are carried out using a method called “Delphi Round”. When consensus is reached and then the draft published on this website, anybody is invited to give feedback through a public open call for feedback.
Overview of the methodology.
03. How does the Commission control the effective compliance of a Breast Cancer Service with the European QA scheme’s requirements?
04. How do I know if the service I go for screening is compliant with the European QA scheme?
05. How the accredited European QA scheme breast centres differ from the others which are not? / If my hospital is not compliant with the European QA scheme mean is not good enough?
If a breast cancer service applies the European QA scheme means that it implements the most updated evidence-based requirements and protocols and that its compliance is regularly checked and evaluated by external entities. In addition, it means that it is able to offer to its users the best quality services currently available.
If your hospital does not apply it yet, it just means that its management did not yet take the strategic decision to implement it for any organisational reason or because the small size of the structure does not permit to develop such complete care pathway then it has decided to refer breast cancer patients to other accredited structures.
06. If the European QA scheme is one, will its structure be too rigid to adapt to different women’s needs?
07. What does it mean that the European QA scheme application is voluntary?
08. What does the European QA scheme require? Which are the provisions?
The European QA scheme is a collection of requirements and indicators. Its implementation guarantees that compliant breast cancer services can offer to users (women, patients and carers) top quality and most updated procedures for breast cancer screening and care. The requirements focus on the person’s needs and are based on the most updated evidence-based guidelines. The European QA scheme will also provide doctors, nurses and healthcare professionals with the most updated professional best practices, with proven validity and accepted by the ECIBC experts after a third party evaluation according to rigorous pre-set criteria.
All the requirements will strive to reflect a right balance between the continuous improvement of quality of care and local feasibility and applicability of the scheme.
09. What is the added value of the European QA scheme accreditation?
- For the users (women and patients) choosing a European QA scheme accredited breast cancer service means: (1) having the guarantee to be assisted according to the best quality evidence-based criteria, (2) having the possibility to follow a person centred care pathway completely designed to meet the woman/patient’s needs and (3) receiving all necessary information and support to take aware decision regarding own health.
- For the breast cancer services being accredited with the European QA scheme means: (1) meeting patients’ expectations for the highest quality healthcare, (2) benefiting from frequent audits and peer reviews aiming to constant improvement of the services offered, (3) being framed into a scheme which guarantees adherence to most up-to-date evidence-based requirements.
10. What is the Quality Assurance Scheme?
ECIBC is developing a Quality Assurance scheme for Breast Cancer services (European QA scheme) which will set the requirements covering every step of breast cancer (from screening to palliative care) based on the best available scientific evidence.
The European QA scheme puts the person’s need and sensitivity at the centre of its scope and therefore will be designed to include, beyond clinical recommendations, aspects such as patient values, communication needs and support. The European QA scheme will be piloted in selected breast centres around Europe to undergo a deep assessment on its functioning in different context and circumstances to correct potential weakness. Then it will become available to all on voluntary basis. The breast cancer services wishing to adhere to it will have to demonstrate the capacity to attain its requirements.
Once the European QA scheme will be operative, you will find on this website an updated list of those breast cancer services compliant to the requirements.
11. What is the relation between ISO standards and the European QA scheme?
12. When the list of breast cancer services accredited by the European QA scheme will be published?
13. Which type of entity can apply the European QA scheme?
Any breast cancer service which covers the full extent of breast cancer management: from screening to treatment until palliative care.