February 18, 2019
On February 7th, the PURC Executive Team – prostate cancer clinical experts, data abstractors, patient advocates and practice administrators – convened at Independence Live in Philadelphia to discuss the current progress and future directions of the collaborative. PURC is a prostate cancer quality improvement initiative that brings urology practices together in a physician-led, data-sharing and improvement collaborative. Headlining the meeting was an update from the newly established Opioid Working Group, which focuses on improving opioid stewardship for prostatectomy patients. Dr. Daniel Lee and Dr. Ruchika Talwar from Penn Urology shared promising early results from their new initiative to reduce excess narcotic use in prostatectomy and nephrectomy surgery discharges. In order to do so, Penn urologists have implemented a pain management pathway that initially emphasizes prescribing alternative pain medications with escalation protocols to opioids if pain cannot be controlled. The Opioid Working Group hopes to pilot this pathway at additional PURC practices. In the meantime, the Opioid Working Group is developing variables and measures to understand opioid prescribing patterns across PURC practices.
Dr. Serge Ginzburg, PURC physician champion from Einstein Healthcare Network, shared his technique to perform a transperineal prostate biopsy, which research suggests significantly reduces the chance of infections regardless of whether or not an antibiotic is prescribed prior to the biopsy. The Biopsy Working Group will continue to monitor infection rates associated with this technique.
PURC is pleased to announce that over 10,000 patients have now been entered into its data registry. As the dataset grows, PURC improves its position for research, grants, and clinical trials.