National Comprehensive Cancer Network Investigational Drug Service Consensus Recommendations (American Journal of Health-System Pharmacy, November 2021)
Summary: In 2019, the NCCN Pharmacy Directors Forum created an Investigational Drug Services (IDS) work group. The work group, which included representatives from NCCN Member Institutions, identified 7 practice areas where there were gaps or opportunities to clarify or expand upon existing literature to address routine problems that can occur during prescribing, receiving, storing, preparing, and delivering investigational drugs. The work group drafted a consensus statement for each of the 7 identified practice areas which were approved by the NCCN Pharmacy Directors Forum and formally endorsed by NCCN.
The exclusion of hospital-based specialty pharmacies from limited distribution networks disrupts the existing supply chain established by health systems. Instead of utilizing a medication supply stocked in the clinic or hospital, medications must be supplied through alternative procurement methods of “brown or white bagging”. For brown bagging, medications are sent to the patient to bring to their clinic visit, and for white bagging, patient-specific medications are sent to the health system for use prior to their clinic visit or during an infusion. These processes create operational challenges and clinical concerns for patients and health systems, and are in conflict with competing Drug Supply Chain Security Act (DSCSA) requirements for hospitals/organizations. Many health systems have developed policies strictly banning “brown bagging”. Therefore, the exclusion of NCCN member institutions from limited distribution networks may jeopardize the safety and quality of patient care that the networks hope to enhance.
Biosimilar medications have the potential to reduce expenses to our overall healthcare system, and their adoption by payors and providers is starting to significantly increase. However, adopting these medications into a clinical setting is impacted by external as well as internal forces which create unique challenges. A working group within the Pharmacy Directors Forum of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) has reviewed and highlighted some of the potential challenges regarding adopting biosimilars into clinical practice. The work group has summarized several recommendations for the safe and efficient use of biosimilar medications in the clinical setting.
Oncologist Perspectives on Telemedicine for Patients With Cancer: A National Comprehensive Cancer Network Survey (JCO Oncology Practice, July 2021)
The use of telemedicine expanded dramatically in March 2020 following the COVID-19 pandemic. We sought to assess oncologist perspectives on telemedicine's present and future roles (both phone and video) for patients with cancer.
Preferences in Oncology History Documentation Styles Among Clinical Practitioners (JCO Oncology Practice, July 2021)
Clinical notes function as the de facto handoff between providers and assume great importance during unplanned medical encounters. An organized and thorough oncology history is essential in care coordination. We sought to understand reader preferences for oncology history organization by comparing between chronologic and narrative formats.
A Study of Advanced Practice Provider Staffing Models and Professional Development Opportunities at NCCN Member Institutions (JADPRO, October 2021)
The National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) Best Practices Committee created an Advanced Practice Provider (APP) Workgroup to develop recommendations to support APP roles at NCCN Member Institutions. The Workgroup conducted three surveys to understand APP program structure, staffing models, and professional development opportunities at NCCN Member Institutions. This paper will identify recommendations for standardizing APP leadership and staffing structures and improving APP professional development opportunities nationwide.
Psychology Staffing at Cancer Centers: Data From National Comprehensive Cancer Network Member Institutions (JCO Oncology Practice, November 2020)
The field of psycho-oncology is relatively undeveloped, with little information existing regarding the use of psychologists at cancer centers. Comprising 30 leading cancer centers across the United States, the National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) set out to understand the trends in its Member Institutions.
Creative Strategies Implemented During the Coronavirus Pandemic That Will Impact the Future of Cancer Care (JNCCN, October
The coronavirus pandemic has significantly impacted operations at leading cancer centers across the United States. In the midst of the chaos, at least one silver lining has emerged: the development of new, creative strategies for delivering cancer care that are likely to continue post pandemic. The NCCN Best Practices Committee, which is composed of senior physician, nursing, and administrative leaders at NCCN Member Institutions, conducted a webinar series in June 2020 highlighting the most promising and effective strategies to date. Experts from NCCN Member Institutions participated in the series to share their experiences, knowledge, and thoughts about the future of cancer care.