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Every year, the Association of Community Cancer Centers (ACCC) hosts its National Oncology Conference (, where sessions focus on innovative and replicable solutions to the most pressing challenges facing cancer programs and practices. Innovation & Tech-Xpert, Julie Holmes, will kick off the meeting with a keynote focused on, "Little Big Bangs: Innovating and Improving in Challenging Times," where she will share a novel approach to innovation that leverages technology and focuses on finding and delivering everyday improvements that add up to big results for your cancer care team and your patients.

Association of Commu... - Click to enlarge in new windowAssociation of Community Cancer Centers. Association of Community Cancer Centers

A key meeting component is presentations by the ACCC Innovator Award Winners. This year, a task force of ACCC members peer-reviewed and selected five forward-thinking and innovative programs from more than 80 applications to receive a 2022 ACCC Innovator Award:


1. Addressing Social Determinants of Health Through a Medical-Legal Partnership

Through a collaboration of legal and health care professionals, Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) Health System VCU Massey Cancer Center is helping patients with cancer resolve social and environmental factors that contribute to health disparities and have a remedy in civil law. Through this program, the cancer center connects low-income patients with cancer to pro bono legal services, financial counseling, and community resources. More than 90 percent of patients report that this assistance allowed them to focus more time and energy on their health. Learn how embedding lawyers in a health care setting can directly resolve specific problems for individual patients, help clinical and non-clinical staff navigate health system and policy barriers, and transform institutional practices.


2. A Model for Embedding Primary Care in Oncology

Christiana Care Helen F. Graham Cancer Center & Research Institute designed and implemented a person-centered model of care that embeds a primary care provider (PCP) in the cancer clinic to see oncology patients with comorbidities who are in active treatment and who report having no PCP. In the first 6 months of its pilot, oncologists referred more than 70 patients to the program's nurse practitioner (NP). When patients complete active treatment, the NP connects them with a PCP outside the cancer clinic to help support their transition to survivorship care. Learn how this interdepartmental collaboration between the oncology service line and the department of family medicine reaped across-the-board benefits, improving patient access and care coordination, decreasing levels of patient stress, expediting more timely and efficient treatment of comorbidities and other health concerns, and reducing treatment delays.


3. Chemotherapy Care Companion: A Remote Patient Monitoring Program

Upon receipt of a completed Chemotherapy Care Companion consent questionnaire sent via an online patient portal application, patients at Ochsner Health's Ochsner Cancer Institute receive a digital scale, blood pressure cuff, and ear thermometer free of charge and are assigned a series of daily tasks, including a daily symptom survey, weight entry, temperature entry, morning and night blood pressure, and heart rate reading. Vital signs are uploaded automatically to the patient portal and electronic health record. From January 2020 through December 2021, the 284 patients enrolled in this program had a compliance rate of 67 percent, indicating that patients successfully completed more than half of their daily vitals and questionnaire tasks. Learn how Chemotherapy Care Companion helped Ochsner Cancer Institute reduce its total number of emergency department visits and admissions by 33 percent.


4. Expediting Cancer Treatment Through a Rapid Access APP-Led Diagnostic Clinic

In response to data that showed a significant decrease in both the volume of cancer screening tests and the number of cancer diagnoses, the James Cancer Diagnostic Center at The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center - James Cancer Hospital and Solove Research Institute developed a program to provide patients direct, expedited access to diagnostic testing. Open 5 days a week for same- or next-day in-person or virtual appointments, this advanced practice provider (APP)-led clinic provides a novel "front door" to the cancer program. To date, more than 600 patients have been seen in this clinic, with 40 percent being referred onto a sub-specialty provider. Learn how the clinic is staffed and care is delivered to extend diagnostic services from the inpatient to the outpatient setting.


5. Deploying Technology Across an Interdisciplinary Team to Improve Oral Oncolytic Compliance

A cross-departmental team of clinic nurses, nurse navigators, pharmacists, and pharmacy technicians at Baptist Health South Florida's Miami Cancer Institute partnered to evaluate existing processes and leverage technology to improve oral oncolytic compliance through patient education, consent, and adherence standards. Readily available technology like Zoom and Cisco Jabber supported patient education, DocuSign allowed digital signatures, and Microsoft Teams facilitated ongoing review of oral oncolytic prescriptions. Learn how this quality improvement initiative increased oral oncolytic education and consent compliance.


Oncology Workforce Issues

Other conference sessions will focus on staff recruitment and retention, burnout, bringing up diverse leaders, improving career satisfaction, and creating intentional staff support programs. To engage with colleagues and learn more about these innovative and replicable health care solutions, click on the QR code below and register to attend the ACCC 39th National Oncology Conference, October 12-14, 2022, in West Palm Beach, FL.


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