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News

Onmark launches initiative to help community-based oncology practices improve the quality of patient care

Onmark : 31 January, 2008  (New Product)
Onmark, a leading US group purchasing organization (GPO) for community-based practices, has launched the Integrated Quality (IQ) Program with the objective of helping community-based oncology practices improve the quality of patient care.
The Onmark IQ Program, which is implemented through OTN's industry-leading Lynx Mobile technology platform, helps practices track internal regimen utilisation, compare their clinical treatment patterns to national standards such as American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) and National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) guidelines, and benchmark quality outcomes against peer practices. As a result, practices can identify opportunities to enhance the quality of care they provide to patients and improve the overall efficiency of their practice.

'There is a growing effort to standardize and improve the quality of patient care delivery in the United States through the development of measurable quality indicators. We believe the Onmark IQ program will help oncology practices succeed in a quality-driven healthcare environment by making it easy to benchmark clinical data to both national standards and to other practices,' said Kim Bergstrom, Pharm D, chief clinical officer of OTN and clinical advisor to Onmark. 'This innovative program will also help oncology practices prepare for pay-for-performance programmes by helping them develop quality treatment strategies and demonstrate adherence to guidelines.'

Physicians participating in the IQ Program will respond to brief, web-based surveys designed to measure clinical treatment patterns and determine why they made specific treatment decisions. After completed surveys are submitted to Onmark, the participating practice will receive a credit for OTN expenditures. Surveys are HIPAA compliant and do not contain recognizable patient identifiers. Collected data will be aggregated to the national level.

The first IQ Program will cover the management of febrile neutropenia and is based on national guidelines and quality metrics regarding the prophylactic use of white blood cell growth factors in patients receiving myelosuppressive chemotherapy treatment for non-Hodgkin's lymphoma and breast cancer. Multiple IQ Programs covering different disease states and diagnoses are planned for early 2008.


A successful pilot programme was conducted in 2007 covering the treatment of metastatic colorectal cancer. More than 110 practices participated in the programme, and more than 440 surveys were completed. For their services in completing the survey, practices received a $100 credit for each survey submitted.

'Onmark's pilot IQ program gave our practice a new way to provide clinical treatment insights with OTN's Lynx Mobile and at the same time earn revenue,' said Lynn Sawyer, practice manager at Hematology & Oncology Consultants PA in Orlando, Florida, USA. 'The surveys were clinically relevant and only took a short time to complete. We look forward to participating in additional IQ Program opportunities and receiving our practice's own clinical data benchmarked against established quality guidelines.'

After completion of the IQ Programs in 2008, Onmark will hold an educational forum for program participants. Physicians who attend will receive their own practice-specific survey and clinical utilization data benchmarked against national standards and peer practices. They also will have the opportunity to engage in discussions about proper drug utilisation, how to interpret clinical findings, and how to demonstrate adherence to quality measures and evidence-based treatment protocols.

The IQ program is open to all Onmark members with Lynx Mobile technology installed in their practices. Lynx Mobile is an automated charge capture, inventory management and reporting tool. It was developed by OTN specifically for community-based infusion therapy clinic staff to help them more efficiently manage their inventory of drugs and supplies and improve practice revenue management. More than 300 community-based oncology clinics throughout the USA have implemented Lynx Mobile technology in their practices.

'The IQ Program is a groundbreaking step that builds on OTN's Lynx Mobile technology and provides real-time insights into clinical treatment decisions. Practices that participate in this program will be prepared to adapt to the new quality-driven healthcare environment and will demonstrate leadership in the ongoing national effort to develop measurable standards of care,' said Clark Avery, general manager of Onmark. 'The IQ Program represents just one of many unique offerings that deliver valuable benefits to Onmark members and their patients.'

In addition to competitive national pharmaceutical contracts, aggressive pricing through OTN, and Practice management resources, including Onmark Regimen Profiler, Onmark offers a wealth of clinical tools and educational programmes designed exclusively for community oncology.

To date this year, Onmark has delivered more than 80 educational programmes that have been attended by more than 3,200 of its members. These programmes - offered both in-person and online - keep members informed of the latest legislative and reimbursement news, clinical advances and best practices in community oncology. Online clinical tools provide practices and patients with important information that is written around the way chemotherapy is administered - by regimen.
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