Collaborative creates model for reporting to state cancer surveillance registry

Collaboration among stakeholders is key to implementing a disease specific surveillance program through interoperable reporting of data from physician practices to a public health registry, according to a new case study published in the journal eGEMS (Generating Evidence & Methods to improve patient outcomes).

The collaborative effort by the Kentucky state public health department, the University of Kentucky, and the Kentucky Regional Extension Center (REC) used the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Replicating Effective Programs model to disseminate cancer therapy data from oncology practices in the state to a cancer surveillance registry. The project's work plan included recruiting practices and vendors, clinical management and staffing.

The case study resulted in the nation's first electronic transmission of a clinical document architecture (CDA) from physician offices to the state cancer surveillance registry in 2012.

"Successful transmission of the CDA not only represented a landmark for technology innovators, informaticists and clinicians, but it established a new surveillance intervention through which state and federal agencies can capture and trade vital cancer statistics in a way that is safe, secure, timely, and sustainable," the case study authors said.

The researchers noted that electronic data sharing was particularly important in states with rural areas, such as Kentucky. They recommended that their approach be used as a management tool for other data sharing efforts, and that it was "imperative" to leverage the Meaningful Use program as an "overarching policy and structural driver."

They also pointed out that vendor recruitment was an issue, as vendors were more interested in immediate "direct profit" rather than population health, incentive programs or national health IT policies.  

Interoperability, particularly for public health purposes, is a pivotal part of the Meaningful Use program. The apparent lack of interoperability, even of certified electronic health records, has become a front-burner issue in recent weeks.

To learn more:
- read the case study (.pdf)

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