Challenges and facilitators of community clinical oncology program participation: a qualitative study.

Author(s): McAlearney AS,  Reiter KL,  Weiner BJ,  Minasian L,  Song PH

Journal: J Healthc Manag

Date: 2013 Jan-Feb

Major Program(s) or Research Group(s): COPTRG, OD

PubMed ID: 23424817

PMC ID: PMC3763953

Abstract: Successful participation in the National Cancer Institute's Community Clinical Oncology Program (CCOP) can expand access to clinical trials and promote cancer treatment innovations for patients and communities without access to major cancer centers. Yet CCOP participation involves administrative, financial, and organizational challenges that can affect hospital and provider participants. This study was designed to improve our understanding of challenges associated with CCOP participation from the perspectives of involved providers and to learn about opportunities to overcome these challenges. We conducted five case studies of hospitals and providers engaged with the CCOP. Across organizations, we interviewed 41 key administrative, physician, and nurse informants. We asked about CCOP participation, focusing on issues related to implementation, operations, and organizational support. Challenges associated with CCOP participation included lack of appreciation for the value of participation and poor understanding about CCOP operations, cost, and required workflow changes, among others. Informants also suggested opportunities to facilitate participation: (1) increase awareness of the CCOP, (2) enhance commitment to the CCOP, and (3) promote and support champions of the CCOP. Improving our understanding of the challenges and facilitators of CCOP participation may assist hospitals and providers in increasing and sustaining participation in the CCOP, thus helping to preserve access to innovative cancer treatment options for patients in need.