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  • Author: James M. Hoffman x
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James M. Hoffman, Donald K. Baker, Scott C. Howard, Joseph H. Laver and Jerry L. Shenep

Computerized prescriber order entry (CPOE) for medications has been implemented in only approximately 1 in 6 United States hospitals, with CPOE for chemotherapy lagging behind that for nonchemotherapy medications. The high risks associated with chemotherapy combined with other aspects of cancer care present unique challenges for the safe and appropriate use of CPOE. This article describes the process for safe and successful implementation of CPOE for chemotherapy at a children's cancer center. A core principle throughout the development and implementation of this system was that it must be as safe (and eventually safer) as existing paper systems and processes. The history of requiring standardized, regimen-specific, preprinted paper order forms served as the foundation for safe implementation of CPOE for chemotherapy. Extensive use of electronic order sets with advanced functionality; formal process redesign and system analysis; automated clinical decision support; and a phased implementation approach were essential strategies for safe implementation of CPOE. With careful planning and adequate resources, CPOE for chemotherapy can be safely implemented.

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Andrew D. Zelenetz, Islah Ahmed, Edward Louis Braud, James D. Cross, Nancy Davenport-Ennis, Barry D. Dickinson, Steven E. Goldberg, Scott Gottlieb, Philip E. Johnson, Gary H. Lyman, Richard Markus, Ursula A. Matulonis, Denise Reinke, Edward C. Li, Jessica DeMartino, Jonathan K. Larsen and James M. Hoffman

Biologics are essential to oncology care. As patents for older biologics begin to expire, the United States is developing an abbreviated regulatory process for the approval of similar biologics (biosimilars), which raises important considerations for the safe and appropriate incorporation of biosimilars into clinical practice for patients with cancer. The potential for biosimilars to reduce the cost of biologics, which are often high-cost components of oncology care, was the impetus behind the Biologics Price Competition and Innovation Act of 2009, a part of the 2010 Affordable Care Act. In March 2011, NCCN assembled a work group consisting of thought leaders from NCCN Member Institutions and other organizations, to provide guidance regarding the challenges health care providers and other key stakeholders face in incorporating biosimilars in health care practice. The work group identified challenges surrounding biosimilars, including health care provider knowledge, substitution practices, pharmacovigilance, naming and product tracking, coverage and reimbursement, use in off-label settings, and data requirements for approval.

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Philip E. Johnson, George Dahlman, Kirby Eng, Rekha Garg, Scott Gottlieb, James M. Hoffman, Peyton Howell, Mohammad Jahanzeb, Shirley Johnson, Emily Mackler, Mark Rubino, Brenda Sarokhan, F. Marc Stewart, Tim Tyler, Julie M. Vose, Sharon Weinstein, Edward C. Li and Jessica DeMartino

REMS are a particularly important issue for oncology and the National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN). A disproportionate number of drugs with complex REMS are used in patients with cancer or hematologic disorders. REMS policies and processes within oncology may act as a model for other clinical areas. A breadth of experience and access to a wide knowledge base exists within oncology that will ensure appropriate development and consideration of the practical implications of REMS. NCCN is uniquely positioned to assume a leadership role in this process given its status as the arbiter of high-quality cancer care based on its world-leading institutions and clinicians. Notwithstanding the potential benefits, the successful design, implementation, and analysis of the FDA's recent requirement for REMS for some high-risk drugs and biologics will present significant challenges for stakeholders, including patients, providers, cancer centers, manufacturers, payors, health information technology vendors, and regulatory agencies. To provide guidance to these stakeholders regarding REMS challenges, the NCCN assembled a work group comprised of thought leaders from NCCN Member Institutions and other outside experts. The Work Group identified challenges across the REMS spectrum, including the areas of standardization, development and assessment of REMS programs, medication guides, provider knowledge and impact on prescribing, provider burden and compensation, and incorporation of REMS into clinical practice.

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Christopher K. Bichakjian, Thomas Olencki, Murad Alam, James S. Andersen, Daniel Berg, Glen M. Bowen, Richard T. Cheney, Gregory A. Daniels, L. Frank Glass, Roy C. Grekin, Kenneth Grossman, Alan L. Ho, Karl D. Lewis, Daniel D. Lydiatt, William H. Morrison, Kishwer S. Nehal, Kelly C. Nelson, Paul Nghiem, Clifford S. Perlis, Ashok R. Shaha, Wade L. Thorstad, Malika Tuli, Marshall M. Urist, Timothy S. Wang, Andrew E. Werchniak, Sandra L. Wong, John A. Zic, Nicole McMillian, Karin Hoffman and Maria Ho

Dermatofibrosarcoma protuberans (DFSP) is an uncommon soft tissue tumor characterized by a relatively high risk of local recurrence and low risk of metastasis. The NCCN Guidelines for DFSP provide multidisciplinary recommendations on the management of patients with this rare disease. These NCCN Guidelines Insights highlight the addition of the Principles of Pathology section, which provides recommendations on the pathologic assessment of DFSP. Because DFSP can mimic other lesions, immunohistochemical studies are often required to establish diagnosis. Cytogenetic testing for the characteristic translocation t(17;22)(q22;q13) can also be valuable in the differential diagnosis of DFSP with other histologically similar tumors.