UArizona Cancer Center Honored with 2020 Innovator Award

Tuesday, September 15, 2020

Efforts to keep patients safe in the time of COVID-19 led to significant savings and innovation in chemotherapy delivery and earned the University of Arizona Health Sciences center national recognition.

The Association of Community Cancer Centers has honored the University of Arizona Cancer Center at the UArizona Health Sciences with its 2020 Innovator Award. 

The award recognizes forward-thinking Association of Community Cancer Centers Program members who have created innovative and replicable solutions while demonstrating the real-world impact on the delivery of cost-effective, patient-centered care. The UArizona Cancer Center was recognized along with seven other awardees from across the nation. 

To help ensure patient safety in the time of COVID-19, the UArizona Cancer Center – which is affiliated clinically with Banner – University Medicine with two hospitals in Tucson, Banner – University Medical Center Tucson and Banner – UMC South – created a multidisciplinary team that identified chemotherapy regimens administered in the inpatient setting that could be safely administered in the outpatient setting. The team created and implemented a transition plan that reduced inpatient medical resources and chemotherapy costs, decreased inpatient bed stay, lowered infection rates and improved quality of life.

The effort decreased overall cost of care which resulted in a conservative estimate of $6 million in savings.

“Continuous improvement in quality of the care for patients with reduced cost costs is an essential goal in oncology care. This program successfully does both and showcases how a multidisciplinary team can achieve results through collaboration. The shift in chemotherapy administration from inpatient to outpatient resulted in an important measurable decrease in overnight hospital stays and an impressive overall cost reduction for the system. This team has developed a plan that can be replicated nationwide,” said Ali McBride, PharmD, MS, clinical coordinator of hematology/oncology at the UArizona Cancer Center and an assistant professor in the UArizona College of Pharmacy.

Dr. McBride and Daniel Persky, MD, who is the associate director of Clinical Investigations at the Cancer Center, explain the process in a video at this link.

Winners were selected based on the potential of their program to have a real-world impact on the delivery of cost-effective, patient-centered care with replicable solutions in the areas of care coordination and quality improvement, technology, patient engagement, innovative training and staffing models, the provision of supportive care services, and collaborative practice agreements.

 

“During these unprecedented times, cancer care professionals are looking for new and more accessible ways to stay engaged and learn from the challenges and successes of their peers. This year’s ACCC National Oncology Conference provides an opportunity to collaborate and discover pioneering ideas that address the challenges of providing cancer care in our new reality,” said Randall A. Oyer, MD, ACCC president and medical director at the Ann B. Barshinger Cancer Institute, Penn Medicine Lancaster General Health.  

In addition to the presentation of the 2020 ACCC Innovator Awards, the ACCC’s 37th [Virtual] National Oncology Conference includes facilitated and interactive roundtable discussions on “hot topic” issues like cultural humility and sensitivity, ramping up outreach and prevention programs in a COVID-19 world, mentoring those new to oncology, and more, as well as live keynote addresses on effective leadership during challenging times and addressing the disparity of women in oncology after which attendees will be able to ask questions in real time. Registrants will also have an opportunity to interact in real-time and ask follow-up questions with the 2020 ACCC Innovator Award winners on Thursday, Sept. 17.

Cancer professionals can find more information on the agenda and register to attend on the ACCC website.