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J Oncol Pract. 2018 Dec;14(12):e823-e833. doi: 10.1200/JOP.18.00419.

Measuring the Impact of Academic Cancer Network Development on Clinical Integration, Quality of Care, and Patient Satisfaction.

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Yale New Haven Hospital; Yale School of Medicine; Yale Cancer Center; Smilow Cancer Hospital; and Community Health Educators Group, New Haven, CT.



Many US academic centers have acquired community practices to expand their clinical care and research footprint. The objective of this assessment was to determine whether the acquisition and integration of community oncology practices by Yale/Smilow Cancer Hospital improved outcomes in quality of care, disease team integration, clinical trial accrual, and patient satisfaction at network practice sites.


We evaluated quality of care by testing the hypothesis that core Quality Oncology Practice Initiative measures at network sites that were acquired in 2012 were significantly different after their 2016 integration into the network. Clinical and research integration were measured using the number of tumor board case presentations and total accruals in clinical trials. We used Press-Ganey scores to measure patient satisfaction pre- and postintegration.


Mean Quality Oncology Practice Initiative scores at Smilow Care Centers were significantly higher in 2016 than in 2012 for core measures related to improvement in tumor staging ( z = 1.33; P < .05), signed consent and documentation plans for antineoplastic treatment ( z = 2.69; P < .01; and z = 2.36; P < .05, respectively), and appropriately quantifying and addressing pain during office visits ( z = 2.95; P < .05; and z = 3.1; P < .01, respectively). A total of 493 cases were presented by care center physicians at the tumor board in 2017 compared with 45 presented in 2013. Compared with 2012, Smilow Care Center clinical trial accrual increased from 25 to 170 patients in 2017. Last, patient satisfaction has remained at greater than the 90th percentile pre- and postintegration.


The process of integration facilitates the ability to standardize cancer practice and provides a platform for quality improvement.


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