DPH Hopes To Expand Cancer Registry Project to More Hospitals
The California Department of Public Health and St. Joseph Health are working on a program to track cancer trends across California, and officials want to expand the program to more facilities, HealthyCal reports (Emerson Smith, HealthyCal, 9/14).
Details of Project
In July, the California Department of Public Health announced a first-of-its kind project to collect and securely send cancer data to the California Cancer Registry.
The registry contains information on millions of cancer cases that have been diagnosed in California since 1988. The data include:
- Cancer type;
- Patient demographics; and
- Treatment and survival information.
The project seeks to transition from storing data as text within a hospital or laboratory database to coding the information electronically via the College of American Pathologists' electronic Forms and Reporting Module. Doing so will:
- Allow doctors to report real-time data to the state's cancer registry; and
- Make data exchange easier and more secure (California Healthline, 7/29).
Ten St. Joseph Health system hospitals have adopted technology to support the program. Michelle Woodley, vice president of clinical informatics at St. Joseph Health, said she cannot imagine returning to the health system's previous methods. Woodley said, "With this automated system, you can't have people ... miscoding something for the wrong kind of cancer, which could make your research not potentially valid."
State Wants To Expand Program
According to HealthyCal, the state hopes that more facilities will join the project after seeing it implemented at St. Joseph Health.
Kurt Snipes, with DPH's Cancer Surveillance and Research Branch, said, "The project is scalable so it can be expanded to include other participants," noting, "The work with St. Joseph's was the first of its kind in California."
According to HealthyCal, more participants in the project could significantly improve the accuracy and availability of the cancer registry's data.
However, some providers could be resistant to the project.
Michael Marino, CMIO at St. Joseph Health, said "You're asking me instead of doing this narrative pathology report that I may have done for years, you want me to be very structured." He added that "in order to do this, you can't be in a paper system or a dictation system. This is actual coding into a computer program" (HealthyCal, 9/14).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.