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Home > Resources > Process Improvement: Molecular Testing > Overview

Molecular Testing in the Community Oncology Setting

Molecular Testing in the Community Setting

The evolution of biomarker-driven medicine to diagnose and treat cancer continues to play a central role in the delivery of precision medicine for patients with cancer. Bio-marker testing provides specific information about a patient’s tumor that can be used in diagnosis, development of a treatment plan, and in following the patient’s progress.

Molecular Testing Key Areas for Improvement In 2013-2015, the Association of Community Cancer Centers (ACCC) initiated Learning Labs for Process Improvement focused on improving molecular testing at the system level. Eight ACCC Cancer Program member institutions participated in these facilitated learning labs, identifying eight key areas for improvement and developed potential action items for each.

ACCC launched A.C.T. (Assess, Change, Test) on Molecular Testing resources, to make the Learning Lab for Process Improvement experience available to community cancer programs seeking to improve their molecular testing processes. A.C.T. on Molecular Testing empowers cancer programs, providing materials to help team members conduct process improvement initiatives for integrating, optimizing, and tracking biomarker testing at their sites.


A.C.T. on Molecular Testing

A continuing challenge for community providers in implementing and optimizing biomarker testing is the need to work across a range of specialties and to secure committed organizational support for this effort. In response, the A.C.T. on Molecular Testing initiative developed resources to enhance provider communication and foster cross-disciplinary approaches for identifying effective practices for integration of bio-marker testing in the community setting.

To support improved communication, we created a lexicon of molecular-testing related terminology. Working with a team of experts and drawing on the learning labs for process improvement previously conducted at eight cancer program sites, ACCC has developed resources to help your program conduct a process improvement initiative for your molecular testing program for non-small cell (NSCLC) lung cancer.

Access these resources and start your own process improvement initiative today by visiting the ACCC e-learning portal. If you have any questions about getting started, please reach out to us at

Learning Labs

In 2013-2015, ACCC conducted eight Learning Labs for Process Improvement at ACCC Cancer Program member institutions. Programs gathered baseline data from their tumor registries and electronic patient records, participated in an on-site learning lab workshop, and conducted follow-up with staff to monitor process improvement efforts. Participants identified eight key areas for improvement and developed potential action items for each.

Learn more about the process improvement ideas and access additional resources.

Learning Lab Update

In 2017, three programs shared how they’ve improved molecular testing in NSCLC and how they are sustaining this process improvement effort. Read case studies from:

Stakeholder MeetingMolecular Testing Supplement

To foster dialogue around innovative changes in biomarker testing programs, in 2015 ACCC held a biomarker testing “stakeholder” meeting, bringing together an interdisciplinary panel of seven clinicians and administrators from cancer programs of various sizes from around the country. The group discussed ongoing advances and improvements in biomarker testing processes, as well as specific innovations underway at their programs. From this discussion, ACCC developed “Ongoing Advances & Improvements in Molecular Testing” and a webinar series. Topics covered in these peer-to-peer webinar series include:

Molecular Testing in the Community Oncology Setting

The ACCC Molecular Testing in the Community Setting project took a three-pronged approach to inform challenges and effective practices in the use of molecular testing, including: development of an annotated bibliography, two informal online surveys (multidisciplinary team member survey and pathologist survey), and focus group and follow-up interviews. Learn more about the project and access a summary of the outcomes.

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