Oncology Rounds

The latest news and research on cancer care from the Oncology Roundtable.

How cancer programs are protecting their patients from Covid-19

Deirdre Saulet March 18, 2020

Welcome to "Field Report," a new series where Advisory Board experts weigh in on what they are hearing from health care organizations across the county. In this edition, Deirdre Saulet explores how cancer programs across the country are responding to the COVID-19 outbreak.  

COVID-19 is officially a global pandemic, and, in the United States, public health officials are focused on "flattening the curve." But not everyone can self-quarantine, especially those currently receiving cancer treatment. So it's especially important for cancer programs to ensure the safety of immunocompromised patients. While all health systems have emergency preparedness capabilities, such as command centers, we're seeing cancer centers develop their own working groups within those structures to focus specifically on oncology care and research. 

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Including clinical trials in the infusion center calculus

by Emily Venner and Mallory Kirby March 9, 2020

Understanding the implications of treating clinical trial patients is a priority for the majority of infusion centers—77% of facilities surveyed for the 2019 Infusion Center Volumes, Staffing, and Operations Benchmark Generator report treating patients who are enrolled in clinical trials. We identified several trends impacting infusion centers providing care for clinical trial patients, specifically regarding volumes, staffing, and patient throughput metrics.

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Infusion center insights: Can in-house lab and pharmacy drive patient throughput?

by Aasheen Qadri and Emily Heuser February 28, 2020

Infusion center ancillary services, especially lab and pharmacy, affect staff efficiency and patient throughput. We collected data from more than one hundred infusion centers to learn how they're offering access to these services and the impact that can have on patient wait times.

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Your guide to the updated CoC accreditation standards for 2020

by Emily Venner and Mallory Kirby February 10, 2020

Approximately 1,500 cancer centers nationally—and the majority of Oncology Roundtable members—hold Commission on Cancer (CoC) accreditation. For programs seeking to maintain accreditation in 2020, there are several major changes in store.

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Timely care at infusion centers—how do you compare?

by Mallory Kirby and Emily Heuser February 3, 2020

Timely treatment for cancer patients is an issue that's probably top of mind for you and your cancer program. To help you assess how your infusion center compares to the competition, we surveyed your peers on their infusion center hours of operation, throughput, and utilization in our 2019 Infusion Center Volumes, Staffing, and Operations Survey.

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Do you have the right chemo nurse staffing ratios?

by Jacob Dingle and Emily Heuser January 13, 2020

Optimal staffing ratios are critical to the success of any cancer program, but variable patient complexity and task acuity makes it difficult to land on a staffing model that works well across the board. Correctly calibrated nurse staffing levels are particularly important to maintain efficiency in infusion centers. By far, the most common question we receive from cancer programs is, "How many chemo nurses should I have?"

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Ready for 2020? Make sure you're up to speed on our top oncology reads of 2019.

by Deirdre Saulet and Emily Venner December 16, 2019

This year was marked by treatment and technology innovations and significant regulatory changes that will impact cancer care providers. Catch up on any stories you missed and review our takeaways as you plan for 2020.

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CMS' chemotherapy measure: What cancer programs need to know

by Deirdre Saulet and Aasheen Qadri December 3, 2019

We've been getting a lot of questions about OP-35, the first chemo-specific measure in the Hospital Outpatient Quality Reporting Program (OQR)—questions ranging from how it's calculated, to the impact it will (or will not) have on hospital reimbursement, to how programs can leverage this data. Check out our four key takeaways for every cancer program.

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