Reducing hospitalizations: Institution of outpatient infusional EPOCH-based chemotherapy at a safety net hospital

Neil Keshvani, Mary Hon, Arjun Gupta, Timothy J. Brown, Lonnie Roy, Eileen Marley, Sandy Lindsey, David H. Johnson, Navid Sadeghi, Hsiao C. Li

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


PURPOSE EPOCH (etoposide, prednisone, vincristine, cyclophosphamide, and doxorubicin) -based chemotherapy is traditionally administered inpatient because of its complex 96-hour protocol and number of involved medications. These routine admissions are costly, disruptive, and isolating to patients. Here, we describe our experience transitioning from inpatient to outpatient ambulatory EPOCH-based chemotherapy in a safety-net hospital, associated cost savings, and patient perceptions. METHODS AND MATERIALS Guidelines for chemotherapy administration and educational materials were developed by a multidisciplinary team of physicians, nurses, and pharmacists. Data were collected via chart review and costs via the finance department. Patient satisfaction with chemotherapy at home compared with hospitalization was measured on a Likert-type scale via direct-to-patient survey. RESULTS From January 30, 2017, through January 30, 2018, 87 cycles of EPOCH-based chemotherapy were administered to 23 patients. Sixty-one ambulatory cycles (70%) were administered to 18 patients. Of 26 cycles administered in the hospital, 18 (69%) were the first cycle of treatment. Rates of inappropriate prophylactic antimicrobial prescription and laboratory testing were lower in the outpatient setting. Eight of nine patients surveyed preferred home chemotherapy to inpatient chemotherapy. Per-cycle drug costs were 57.6% lower in outpatients as a result of differences in the acquisition cost in the outpatient setting. In total, the transition to ambulatory EPOCH-based chemotherapy yielded 1-year savings of $502,030 and an estimated 336 days of avoided hospital confinement. CONCLUSION Multiday ambulatory EPOCH-based regimens were successfully and safely administered in our safety-net hospital. Outpatient therapy was associated with significant savings through avoided hospitalizations and reductions in drug acquisition cost and improved patient satisfaction.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)E644-E651
JournalJournal of Oncology Practice
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 1 2019
Externally publishedYes

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© 2019 American Society of Clinical Oncology. All rights reserved.


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