By Megan Martin, Communications Manager
The National Comprehensive Cancer Network® (NCCN®) announced the development of the first continuing medical education (CME) program to leverage data in the NCCN Oncology Outcomes Database (NCCN Database) to objectively measure the impact of comprehensive performance improvement on patient outcomes. The NCCN Opportunities for Improvement initiative is supported by a three-year, $2 million educational grant from Pfizer.
The goal of the NCCN Opportunities for Improvement program is to develop and implement an outcomes-based performance improvement initiative that utilizes real practice data from NCCN Member Institutions. The program will identify tailored educational opportunities, design provider-specific action plans for improvement, and quantify and evaluate the impact of educational interventions on changes in practice and patient outcomes.
"This program represents an exemplary opportunity for measurable improvement in competence, performance, and patient outcomes," said William T. McGivney, PhD, CEO of NCCN. "Educating providers about how evidence-based recommendations for patient care may improve outcomes for their patient population is key to establishing a continuous quality improvement paradigm."
The NCCN Opportunities for Improvement program will utilize clinical data collected in the NCCN Database for Breast Cancer, as measured by concordance to the NCCN Clinical Practice Guidelines in Oncology (NCCN Guidelines™) for Breast Cancer. The NCCN Database for Breast Cancer was initiated in 1996 and is designed to evaluate NCCN Member Institution concordance of practice to NCCN Guidelines™ recommendations, thus identifying areas for improvement.
"This grant continues to align Pfizer's commitment to the oncology community with the needs of that community. We believe that thousands of patients will benefit from these efforts in concert with NCCN Member Institutions," said Freda Lewis-Hall, MD, Executive Vice President and Chief Medical Officer of Pfizer Inc.
Ten NCCN Member Institutions are participating in the NCCN Opportunities for Improvement program and Quality Improvement Coordinators at each center have been identified to act as liaisons between practicing breast cancer providers and data analysts at NCCN.
During the first phase of the program, NCCN will provide participating NCCN Member Institutions with center-specific reports detailing their concordance rates for each of the selected guideline measures to be studied. The report will detail the center's concordance rate, the aggregate peer concordance rate, and identify whether the center's concordance is significantly below the rate at their peer centers. Based on these reports, each center is responsible for identifying reasons for non-concordance and then developing and initiating interventions to address those reasons. Quality improvement best practices will be shared across participating centers. Following the interventions, concordance to the NCCN Guidelines will be reassessed to evaluate the impact of each center's interventions.
"For the first time, we anticipate that we'll actually be able to objectively measure the impact of quality improvement interventions on patient outcomes and performance by way of the NCCN Oncology Outcomes Database," said Dr. McGivney.
In a latter phase of the program, NCCN plans to host an educational summit to share the results from the quality improvement initiative with the oncology community. The summit proceedings will be published in JNCCN — Journal of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network.Participating NCCN Member Institutions include: City of Hope Comprehensive Cancer Center, Dana-Farber/Brigham and Women's Cancer Center, Duke Cancer Institute, Fox Chase Cancer Center, Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center, The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center – James Cancer Hospital & Solove Research Institute, Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center of Northwestern University, Roswell Park Cancer Institute, University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center, and The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center.