Articles and Blogs


Infusion Wallboard Improves the Patient Experience 


June 9, 2022

Patients receiving anti-cancer infusions often experience lengthy appointment wait times due to the highly complex nature of their care. To improve patient and provider satisfaction, TOPS member program, Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center, developed a digital wallboard to address a lack in communication with patients regarding their appointment wait times. 


ACCC Forms Alliance to Improve Cancer Care Continuum


June 8, 2022

To address these disparities, the Association of Community Cancer Centers (ACCC) joined several of its state oncology societies located throughout the region to form the Appalachian Community Cancer Alliance, which seeks to provide residents of the Appalachian Region with interdisciplinary, patient-centered approaches to cancer care, beginning with prevention and throughout survivorship, with an emphasis on enhanced quality of life.


2021 ACCC Innovator Awards: Addressing ED Incidental Imaging Findings Through Navigation


July 6, 2021

When a patient presents for care in an emergency department (ED), unexpected issues unrelated to the patient’s chief complaint may be flagged. For example, when patients receive MRI imaging or CT scans, ED staff may identify incidental findings (such as adrenal masses or pulmonary nodules) that require follow-up. But leaving it up to patients to navigate their subsequent care appropriately comes with the risk that such follow-up may never occur.


State by State: Advocacy Advances PBM Reform, Part 1


June 2, 2021

In an interview with the Association of Community Cancer Centers (ACCC), TOPS President Stephen M. Schleicher, MD, MBA, discussed the advocacy efforts put forth by the society to minimize the negative impact of PBMs on patient care.

"Through the society, physicians from organizations throughout the state connected. Listening to patients and gathering deidentified patient stories about lived experiences with PBM practices are powerful ways to communicate the real-life challenges patients face," said Schleicher. “Sharing these stories with legislators resonated more even more than data.”


2020 ACCC Innovator Awards: Hospital Event Platform Better Monitors Patient Care


July 30, 2020

When cancer patients in treatment experience side effects and seek care at local emergency departments, their oncologists may only find out afterward—if at all. Obtaining the treatment information that results from ED visits has historically been difficult. To better track their patients’ care, Tennessee Oncology—ACCC Innovator Award winner—has partnered with an IT vendor to customize and implement a portal and database that sends oncology providers real-time notifications when a patient presents at an ED or is admitted to a hospital.


Musings on State Society Oncology Membership


By W. Charles Penley, MD 
November 2019


Like many of today’s young oncologists, in the early 1990s I was focused on building my practice, raising young children, and becoming a member of a community outside of medicine. At that point, I had not yet focused on organized medicine at all. It seemed distant and separate from my work—something that other doctors engaged in when confronted by larger issues in society and healthcare.

But about that same time, oncologists in Tennessee were faced with a Medicare carrier policy that would severely limit reimbursement for in-office-administered chemotherapeutic agents. This policy threatened the viability of our practices and our ability to care for our patients in outpatient or office settings.
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