Although 1.8 million new cancer cases are detected annually, most patients who are diagnosed remain alive at 5 years.1 Factors contributing to this success include advancements in science, better supportive care, and technological progress.2 Addressing the needs of patients with cancer has become a major operational challenge as more cancers are detected earlier and more patients are living longer. Patients receive complex, multimodality therapy in a variety of settings, including the integration of various disciplines. Coordination of care for newly diagnosed patients—often an urgent scenario requiring rapid diagnostic studies and treatment initiation—is essential for success.
Care for survivors also requires coordination, with similar implications on cancer care operations. Although the increase in the number of patients with cancer and the associated revenues from these cases have led academic and community institutions to declare cancer as the premier service line, delivering cancer care efficiently and effectively remains an operational contest with no easy answers. This challenge is increasingly obvious as cancer care delivery is shifted to the outpatient arena and as the number of oncologists in the United States is projected to fall short of increased demand.3
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