Health Services Research| Volume 93, P60-67, July 2016

Active Surveillance of Prostate Cancer in a Community Practice: How to Measure, Manage, and Improve?

Published:February 11, 2016DOI:


      To measure past active surveillance (AS) adoption rates, institute the best practice, and measure the AS adoption rates following implementation. We report our findings over a 3-year period.


      Patient prostate needle biopsy and treatment data from the period August 2011 to August 2014 were retrieved from an integrated electronic medical records (Allscripts) and stored in a Microsoft Access database for analysis. Structured data were queried using the automated software program WizMD and unstructured data were abstracted by manual review. AS adoption was calculated according to four different selection criteria. Between 2013 and 2014, physicians at Genesis Healthcare Partners (GHP) underwent an educational training program on the University of California, San Diego/GHP AS best practice for managing low-risk prostate cancer patients and were provided report cards on their AS adoption and comparative reporting.


      AS adoption increased for the 3 years of the study. AS adoption for all newly diagnosed patients managed at GHP increased from 12.9% to 14.74%. AS adoption for patients with low-risk prostate cancer (as defined by the National Comprehensive Cancer Network) increased from 31.90% to 58.46% from year 1 to year 3 of the study (P < .001), and AS adoption for the most strict (restrictive) criteria increased from 43.75% to 82.61% (P < .001) after the educational and comparative reporting intervention.


      These data highlight the potential benefit of physician education and comparative reporting to enhance AS adoption. AS adoption rates vary according to selection criteria used for analysis. Carefully selected outcomes from evidence-based guidelines have the potential to enhance medical quality.
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