Thoracic surgery program joins care study

November 07, 2011

Providence Thoracic Surgery Program has been chosen to join a national study that is measuring the effectiveness of standardized, evidence-based care for patients with resectable non-small cell lung cancer.
The ProvenCare Lung Cancer Collaborative expands on a six-site pilot study that found that compliance with best practices reduced unwarranted variation in care. Phase II, which begins in July 2012, will examine whether the ProvenCare model also improves survival for patients with lung cancer.

The research is sponsored by the Commission on Cancer of the American College of Surgeons and Geisinger Health System. Providence Thoracic Surgery Program, led by John R. Handy Jr., M.D., Hon.D., is one of six new sites added to the expanded study. The research is based on Geisinger’s ProvenCare, an evidence-based, pay-for-performance model that has produced positive results for patients and hospitals.

A 2006-2007 study of coronary artery bypass graft surgery patients found that the ProvenCare’s protocol shortened hospital stays, lowered patient costs, reduced readmissions by 44 percent and decreased pulmonary and neurological complications by 43 and 60 percent, respectively. More about ProvenCare.

For the lung cancer study, treatment team members at each participating institution will follow 38 best-practice guidelines that span pre-operative to post-operative care. Institutions also must provide resources for a collaborative Web-based data entry process and data abstraction capabilities. Providence maintains a thoracic surgery database, which will expand as part of this study.

Importantly, patients in the study agree to actively participate in their care – communicating with their care team, involving family members and loved ones, and following medication and lifestyle guidelines outlined by their care providers.