NCI developing 'ultra-light record' for cancer care, data exchange

It won't qualify you for Medicare and Medicaid EMR incentive payments, but a an "ultra-light record" based on standards of the National Cancer Institute's Cancer Biomedical Informatics Grid (caBIG) soon will be available to help physicians capture data related to cancer patients' office visits--and at least satisfy one of the proposed requirements.

NCI is working with Microsoft and federal technology contractor SAIC to release the open-source EMR within 60 days. The product would be capable of recording patient demographics, disease information and treatment results, Ken Buetow, NCI's associate director for bioinformatics and IT, said at a conference last week, Government Health IT reports.

At the heart of the technology is the Continuity of Care Document, a Health Level 7 International specification that facilitates exchange of patient summaries and progress notes. Providers will need to be able to exchange such information to achieve meaningful use, according to proposed CMS standards. "If someone wants their cancer encounter in electronic form, the physician can use the web interface to push it to the individual's care record," Buetow explained.

To learn more:
- read this Government Health IT story