National Comprehensive Cancer Network

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Improving Safety for Patients with Cancer; NCCN Safety Summit Features Peter Pronovost, MD, PhD

The National Comprehensive Cancer Network® (NCCN®) is hosting the NCCN Patient Safety Summit on October 14, 2010 featuring renowned safety expert Peter J. Pronovost, MD, PhD, of Johns Hopkins Medicine.

October 5, 2010

FORT WASHINGTON, PA — Patient safety has long been recognized as an integral component of quality medical care. The stakes are especially high in oncology where avoiding errors is imperative to delivering radiation therapy, chemotherapy, and other high-risk treatments. On the heels of intense media scrutiny about treatment errors, particularly related to radiation safety, The National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) has convened the NCCN 2010 Patient Safety Summit featuring keynote speaker Peter J. Pronovost, MD, PhD, an internationally acclaimed leader in patient safety from Johns Hopkins Medicine. The Summit is being held in Bethesda, MD on October 14, 2010.

The NCCN 2010 Patient Safety Summit provides an opportunity for clinical, administrative, regulatory, and industry professionals to discuss best practices in oncology patient safety as well as to disseminate advances in oncology patient safety systems and processes. Radiation safety, strategies to prevent oral chemotherapy errors, safety and accountability, and the prevention of health care associated infections will be the focus of the Summit.

“To reach our ultimate goal – providing safer care to patients – we need to embrace concepts that will systematically change the culture within hospitals and enhance communication about medical errors. If we don’t talk about the problem, how can we expect to make meaningful strides against it?” says Peter J. Pronovost, MD, PhD. “I am happy to be participating in the NCCN 2010 Patient Safety Summit which provides a forum for health care teams in the oncology field to openly discuss innovative safety measures that promote honesty, respect, and teamwork among hospital staff, therefore improving the quality of care for patients.”

An advocate for empowering clinicians to speak freely and question their colleagues, one of Dr. Pronovost’s most notable contributions was the introduction of an intensive care checklist protocol that saved 1,500 lives and $100 million in the state of Michigan during its first 18 months. In addition, he recently collaborated with fellow Hopkins’ colleagues Stephanie Terezakis, MD; Eric Ford, PhD; and Joseph Herman, MD to develop a system to identify points within the radiation treatment process where the potential for errors are greatest.

The NCCN 2010 Patient Safety Summit features a robust agenda that seeks to emphasize safety risks associated with new trends and practices in radiation oncology as well as strategies and methods to overcome some of these challenges; the various roles, responsibilities, and specific actions that hospital staff, patients, and visitors may take to help reduce the frequency of patient infections; and safety challenges of oral chemotherapy, a changing paradigm in cancer treatment.

For the complete agenda and to register for the NCCN 2010 Patient Safety Summit, visit

About the National Comprehensive Cancer Network

The National Comprehensive Cancer Network® (NCCN®), a not-for-profit alliance of 27 leading cancer centers, is dedicated to improving the quality and effectiveness of care provided to patients with cancer. Through the leadership and expertise of clinical professionals at NCCN Member Institutions, NCCN develops resources that present valuable information to the numerous stakeholders in the health care delivery system. As the arbiter of high-quality cancer care, NCCN promotes the importance of continuous quality improvement and recognizes the significance of creating clinical practice guidelines appropriate for use by patients, clinicians, and other health care decision-makers. The primary goal of all NCCN initiatives is to improve the quality, effectiveness, and efficiency of oncology practice so patients can live better lives. For more information, visit

The NCCN Member Institutions are:

  • Fred & Pamela Buffett Cancer Center
  • Case Comprehensive Cancer Center/University Hospitals Seidman Cancer Center and Cleveland Clinic Taussig Cancer Institute
  • City of Hope Comprehensive Cancer Center
  • Dana-Farber/Brigham and Women's Cancer Center | Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center
  • Duke Cancer Institute
  • Fox Chase Cancer Center
  • Huntsman Cancer Institute at the University of Utah
  • Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center/Seattle Cancer Care Alliance
  • The Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins
  • Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center of Northwestern University
  • Mayo Clinic Cancer Center
  • Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center
  • Moffitt Cancer Center
  • The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center - James Cancer Hospital and Solove Research Institute
  • Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center
  • Siteman Cancer Center at Barnes-Jewish Hospital and Washington University School of Medicine
  • St. Jude Children's Research Hospital/The University of Tennessee Health Science Center
  • Stanford Cancer Institute
  • University of Alabama at Birmingham Comprehensive Cancer Center
  • UC San Diego Moores Cancer Center
  • UCSF Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center
  • University of Colorado Cancer Center
  • University of Michigan Rogel Cancer Center
  • The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center
  • University of Wisconsin Carbone Cancer Center
  • Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center
  • Yale Cancer Center/Smilow Cancer Hospital