The University of Kentucky has created the nation's first working model for electronic health record (EHR) reporting of cancer cases to the state's cancer registry.
Cancer incidence is higher in Kentucky than in any other state in the U.S. The EHR model allows Kentucky oncologists and other providers to feed clinical data to the Kentucky Cancer Registry in "real time," helping epidemiologists see trends in cancer statistics more quickly than before. It is an important step towards ensuring the statewide cancer control efforts have the most current information about cancer diagnoses and treatments in Kentucky.
The project was funded as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) Comparative Effectiveness Research activities through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Principal investigators Tom Tucker and Eric Durbin were awarded a sub-contract in the amount of $976,449 to develop the methods and standards for physician EHRs to report directly to the Kentucky Cancer Registry, the state's population-based cancer surveillance system.
"This project is laying the groundwork for electronic reporting not only in Kentucky but across the United States," said Durbin, director of Cancer Informatics at the Kentucky Cancer Registry.
The model was officially put in use Oct. 19. Reports for five cancer cases newly diagnosed by Dr. Halden H. Ford were securely transmitted from Paducah Dermatology PLLC, in Paducah Kentucky, using the Team Chart Concept (TCC) EHR system, provided by Ulrich Medical Concepts, Inc.
This breakthrough represents the culmination of an important collaboration between Paducah Dermatology, Ulrich Medical Concepts, the Kentucky Regional Extension Center, the Kentucky Health Information Exchange, the Kentucky Cancer Registry and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to provide complete, timely, and accurate data needed to combat cancer in the Commonwealth.
"This is an important step toward making cancer related comparative effectiveness research studies possible in Kentucky," said Tucker, director of the Kentucky Cancer Registry.
The Kentucky Cancer Registry, the Kentucky Regional Extension Center and Kentucky Health Information Exchange are currently partnering with 43 additional cancer care providers across the state to establish EHR reporting to the registry.
Physician EHR reporting to cancer registries officially becomes part of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Meaningful Use Stage 2 on Jan. 1, 2014. This incentive program is designed to improve healthcare through the increased utilization of information technology by healthcare providers.