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Rachel Darwin, Senior Manager, Public Relations, 2676226624

New Benchmarking Tool for Measuring Development and Organization of Integrated Practice Units Published in JNCCN

Study recommends qualitative and quantitative measurements that can lead to more successfully coordinated cancer care, finds need for better organization around the integration of care.

JNCCN September Cover
JNCCN September Cover

Anke Wind, PhD and Wim van Harten, MD, PhD, Netherlands Cancer Institute

FORT WASHINGTON, PA [September 17, 2018] — New research in the September 2018 issue of JNCCN—Journal of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network explores a new approach for benchmarking cancer centers, based on how successfully their organizational structures allow them to implement Integrated Practice Units (IPU). These IPUs are defined as highly coordinated, multidisciplinary care (including rehabilitation and supportive services) that can provide better value to patients by increasing efficiency and lowering costs. However, upon applying this 13-step measurement method to seven cancer centers across Europe, the researchers found there was no clear, consistent strategy for developing and implementing IPUs.

“We found a wide range of IPU-development stages and characteristics for cancer pathways,” said Anke Wind, PhD, Department of Psychosocial Research and Epidemiology, Netherlands Cancer Institute. “The sobering finding is that these are not very advanced in their IPU maturity.”

This study is part of the international benchmarking project known as BENCH-CAN. The new benchmarking tool is comprised of 51 qualitative indicators and 193 quantitative indicators, based on existing literature and expert consensus. That data was then collected for the year 2012 from the seven pilot cancer centers, all of which are current members of the Organisation of European Cancer Institutes (OECI). The analysis focused mainly on breast cancer pathways, in order to ensure all of the centers involved were able to provide sufficient data for comparison. The research process included an in-person visit to each center to verify data and better understand context.

The researchers concluded with the recommendation that cancer centers explore strategic organizational changes to allow for adequate staffing to both measure and improve their use of IPUs as part of their cancer pathways.

“A more systematic deployment of IPU traits is advised when implementing value-based health care in oncology,” said Dr. Wind. The researchers will be following up with a project on Achieving Best possible Cancer treatment outcomes in treatment pathways through benchmarking, a.k.a. the ABC-Benchmarking project, intended to further validate and develop the benchmark format in order to link outcomes data to benchmark characteristics.

“This work is an important step toward more consistent provision of guideline-directed care during and after cancer treatment,” said Kathryn Ruddy, MD, MPH, Director of Cancer Survivorship for the Department of Oncology, Mayo Clinic Cancer Center, and a Member of the NCCN Clinical Practice Guidelines in Oncology (NCCN Guidelines®) Panel for Survivorship.

To read the entire study, visit Complimentary access to “Benchmarking Cancer Centers: From Care Pathways to Integrated Practice Units” is available until November 10, 2018. For more about the Netherlands Cancer Institute, visit and

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About JNCCN—Journal of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network
More than 25,000 oncologists and other cancer care professionals across the United States read JNCCN—Journal of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network. This peer-reviewed, indexed medical journal provides the latest information about best clinical practices, health services research, and translational medicine. JNCCN features updates on the NCCN Clinical Practice Guidelines in Oncology (NCCN Guidelines®), review articles elaborating on guidelines recommendations, health services research, and case reports highlighting molecular insights in patient care. JNCCN is published by Harborside Press. Visit To inquire if you are eligible for a FREE subscription to JNCCN, visit Follow JNCCN on Twitter @JNCCN.

About the National Comprehensive Cancer Network

The National Comprehensive Cancer Network® (NCCN®), a not-for-profit alliance of 27 leading cancer centers devoted to patient care, research, and education, is dedicated to improving the quality, effectiveness, and efficiency of cancer care so that patients can live better lives. 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 NCCN Member Institutions are: Fred & Pamela Buffett Cancer Center, Omaha, NE; Case Comprehensive Cancer Center/University Hospitals Seidman Cancer Center and Cleveland Clinic Taussig Cancer Institute, Cleveland, OH; City of Hope National Medical Center, Duarte, CA; Dana-Farber/Brigham and Women’s Cancer Center | Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center, Boston, MA; Duke Cancer Institute, Durham, NC; Fox Chase Cancer Center, Philadelphia, PA; Huntsman Cancer Institute at the University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT; Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center/Seattle Cancer Care Alliance, Seattle, WA; The Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins, Baltimore, MD; Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center of Northwestern University, Chicago, IL; Mayo Clinic Cancer Center, Phoenix/Scottsdale, AZ, Jacksonville, FL, and Rochester, MN; Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, New York, NY; Moffitt Cancer Center, Tampa, FL; The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center - James Cancer Hospital and Solove Research Institute, Columbus, OH; Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center, Buffalo, NY; Siteman Cancer Center at Barnes-Jewish Hospital and Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, MO; St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital/The University of Tennessee Health Science Center, Memphis, TN; Stanford Cancer Institute, Stanford, CA; University of Alabama at Birmingham Comprehensive Cancer Center, Birmingham, AL; UC San Diego Moores Cancer Center, La Jolla, CA; UCSF Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center, San Francisco, CA; University of Colorado Cancer Center, Aurora, CO; University of Michigan Rogel Cancer Center, Ann Arbor, MI; The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX; University of Wisconsin Carbone Cancer Center, Madison, WI; Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center, Nashville, TN; and Yale Cancer Center/Smilow Cancer Hospital, New Haven, CT.

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