The Path Forward: The Future of Providing Safe Cancer Care




An estimated 1 in every 182 Americans will be diagnosed with cancer this year. Providing them safe care has inherent challenges, such as reaching an accurate diagnosis as quickly as possible, differentiating between disease progression and treatment side effects, and addressing broader systemic risks. Managing editor, Caitlyn Allen, sat down with medical oncologist and former chief quality officer of the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Dr. Joseph O. Jacobson, to discuss the evolution of oncology care and what the future may hold.

Author Biographies

Caitlyn Allen, MPH, Patient Safety Authority

Caitlyn Allen ( is director of Engagement for the Patient Safety Authority and managing editor for Patient Safety, the PSA’s peer-reviewed journal. Before joining the PSA, she was the project manager for Patient Safety at Jefferson Health, where she also was the only nonphysician elected to serve on the House Staff Quality and Safety Leadership Council. Previously, Allen also was a project manager and patient safety officer for Wills Eye Hospital.

Joseph O. Jacobson, MD, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute

Joe Jacobson is a medical oncologist who has devoted the last 20 years to helping advance high-quality, safe, and patient-centered cancer care locally, regionally, and nationally. He co-developed and co-led the Partners HealthCare Clinical Process Improvement Leadership Program (CPIP) from 2010—17, which has trained over 1,200 clinicians and staff. He is one of the founding members of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Quality Oncology Practice Initiative (QOPI) and the QOPI Certification Program. He led the development of the ASCO Quality Training Program and the JCO Oncology Practice “Quality in Action” section, which encourages the publication of quality and patient safety improvement projects. He co-led the development of the ASCO/Oncology Nursing Society Chemotherapy Administration Safety Standards and chaired the ASCO Quality of Care Committee. Between 2011 and 2020, he served as the first chief quality officer for Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. He continues to lead quality and safety initiatives at Dana-Farber, to teach quality improvement broadly, and to mentor young faculty. He is an associate professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School.

Hikers walking up the side of a purple cancer ribbon on a blue background.



How to Cite

Allen, C., & Jacobson, J. O. (2022). The Path Forward: The Future of Providing Safe Cancer Care. Patient Safety, 4(3), 58–63.
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