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Tool Shows Promise for Measuring Productivity of Mid-Level Oncology Providers
Date:5/29/2009

A pilot study of a new productivity tool developed by the National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) shows potential in measuring the impact of mid-level oncology providers in outpatient oncology settings. Refining productivity metrics for this group can help inform workforce projections given reports of a looming shortage of oncologists. The results will be presented at the ASCO Annual Meeting on May 30, 2009 in Orlando, Florida.

ORLANDO, Fla., May 30 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Mid-level providers have the potential to mitigate the impending workforce shortage of oncologists; however, their impact on clinical practice and productivity has been challenging to measure. A metric and tool developed by the National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) shows promise in the ability to quantify the productivity of mid-level oncology providers, physician assistants (PAs) and nurse practitioners (NPs), in outpatient oncology settings. The results of a pilot study evaluating this tool will be presented at the 2009 American Society for Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Annual Meeting on May 30, 2009.

"In many cases, mid-level providers do not bill for their services separate from the physician making it difficult to assess their productivity in an oncology setting," says author F. Marc Stewart, MD, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center. "We developed this tool in an attempt to facilitate staffing and workforce projections, especially in the face of future physician shortages."

The study analyzed eligible responses from 176 mid-level providers from 15 of the 21 NCCN Member Institutions. The online survey included questions on work characteristics, allocation of time and labor, and productivity. Productivity was defined by the authors as the average number of new or follow-up patients seen per half-day clinic. In addition, the survey asked questions with the intent to identify any significan
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SOURCE National Comprehensive Cancer Network
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