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Resources to optimize cancer center efficiency

As the US population ages, cancer programs are being tasked with treating more patients than ever. This is compounded by provider shortages, increasingly complex treatments, and constrained budgets, challenging leaders to make the most of limited staff and resources. At the same time, your customers, including payers, employers, patients, and referring providers, have higher expectations for fast and reliable care.

To ensure success in this environment, efficiency is of the utmost importance. Use the resources on this page to drive efficiency across three key areas: scheduling, staffing, and patient throughput.

Not sure where to get started? Use these two resources to help identify your top opportunities to improve efficiency.

Read our brief to learn five questions you should ask before, during, and after benchmarking.

How to make the most out of benchmarks

Then, use our benchmark generators to assess your performance within infusion, clinics, and radiation. To zero in, start by looking at measures related to staffing ratios, time to first appointment, patient wait times, and daily volumes.

Oncology volumes, staffing and operations benchmark generators



Inefficiency in cancer center operations often starts at the very beginning—scheduling. While complex and particularly difficult in oncology, it’s critical to get right.



Optimize your staffing structure to accommodate growing workloads and escalating treatment complexity.

Ensure top-of-license practice

Take acuity into account

Invest in building a talent pipeline

  • See how one organization developed long-term strategies for creating internal staffing pipelines to combat chronic shortages of key positions.
  • Create an oncology rotation program like Frederick Regional to give non-oncology staff exposure to the specialty and create potential cancer center candidates.
  • See how a nurse mentoring program can ensure you always have candidates for hard-to-fill openings for oncology-trained RNs.

Patient throughput

No matter how good your staffing model or scheduling processes, with all the various moving parts of a cancer center, there can still be unexpected breakdowns causing delays in patient care.

Standardize the cancer patient journey

Don't neglect the physical layout and flow of your cancer center

Streamline the diagnostic process

Identify opportunities to collaborate and ensure smooth care transitions across the continuum

Redesign infusion center workflows

Redesign medical oncology clinic workflows

Redesign radiation therapy workflows

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