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Oncology (Williston Park). 1997 Nov;11(11A):137-40.

Outcomes assessment in the NCCN.

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Center for Outcomes and Policy Research, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Boston, Massachusetts, USA.


Outcomes assessment has two primary goals: the evaluation of treatments and the evaluation of quality of care. Data on the outcomes associated with specific interventions may provide an empiric basis for guidelines in areas for which no randomized trial data are available. Also, monitoring of patterns of care and outcomes is an essential component of institutional efforts to implement guidelines and to benchmark themselves against regional and national norms. The National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) has adopted a three-phase approach to its outcomes assessment program. Phase 1, already completed, involved taking a systematic inventory of members' existing institutional data sources. Phase 2, which is currently in progress, entails pooling data from existing outcomes data bases. In particular, tumor registry data from the National Cancer Data Base are being used to examine patterns of care and outcomes in NCCN institutions and to benchmark them against national norms. Phase 3, begun within the past year, involves the creation of a uniform outcomes assessment system for the NCCN.

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