Study looks at optimizing patient flow in infusion centers

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The National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) formed an Infusion Efficiency Workgroup to determine best practices for operating efficient and effective infusion centers” Sugalski et al (2019).

Abstract:

PURPOSE: The National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) formed an Infusion Efficiency Workgroup to determine best practices for operating efficient and effective infusion centers.

METHODS: The Workgroup conducted three surveys that were distributed to NCCN member institutions regarding average patient wait time, chemotherapy premixing practices, infusion chair use, and premedication protocols. To assess chair use, the Workgroup identified and defined five components of chair time.

RESULTS: The average patient wait time in infusion centers ranged from 25 to 102 minutes (n = 23; mean, 58 minutes). Five of 26 cancer centers (19%) routinely mix chemotherapy drugs before patient arrival for patients meeting specified criteria. Total planned chair time for subsequent doses of the same drug regimens for the same diseases varied greatly among centers, as follows: Administration of doxorubicin and cyclophosphamide ranged from 85 to 240 minutes (n = 22); of FOLFIRINOX (folinic acid, fluorouracil, irinotecan hydrochloride, and oxaliplation) ranged from 270 to 420 minutes (n = 22); of rituximab ranged from 120 to 350 minutes (n = 21); of paclitaxel plus carboplatin ranged from 255 to 380 minutes (n = 21); and of zoledronic acid ranged from 30 to 150 minutes (n = 22) for planned total chair time. Cancer centers were found to use different premedication regimens with varying administration routes that ranged in administration times from zero to 60 minutes.

CONCLUSION: There is a high degree of variation among cancer centers in regard to planned chair time for the same chemotherapy regimens, providing opportunities for improved efficiency, increased revenue, and more standardization across centers. The NCCN Workgroup demonstrates potential revenue impact and provides recommendations for cancer centers to move toward more efficient and more standard practices.

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Reference:

Sugalski, J.M., Kubal, T., Mulkerin, D.L., Caires, R.L., Moore, P.J., Fiorarancio Fahy, R., Gordon, J.N., Augustyniak, C.Z., Szymanski, G.M., Olsen, M., Frantz, D.K., Quinn, M.A., Kidd, S.K., Krause, D.M., Carlson, R.W. and Stewart, F.M. (2019) National Comprehensive Cancer Network Infusion Efficiency Workgroup Study: Optimizing Patient Flow in Infusion Centers. Journal of Oncology Practice. April 9th. . doi: 10.1200/JOP.18.00563.

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