Q & A Transcript

Q – We haven’t used registry data historically because of the lag associated with abstracting.  How have your clients addressed this factor?

A – A great question and glad you brought it up.  Yes, it’s true that in the past, Cancer Registry data has been considered outdated for most clinical or administrative needs. But this is a bit of a misnomer for several reasons. First, the registry standard setters are moving closer to concurrent abstracting for all cancer sites. In doing so, this means more concurrent reporting.  And secondly, in most cancer centers, and certainly the ones using our solution, our clients have the ability to interface or import the data at the time that it is generated in a source system – e.g., EMR or Pathology.  For the most part, the registry staff chooses to synchronize infrequently only because their needs don’t mandate a more frequent integration.  However, a lot of our clients have made the leap to a daily or more frequent synchronization – which is easily supported by the registry team. Also, ERS is proactively reaching out to our customers with automated and improved integration methods to remove this burden from the registry team.

Q – We represent a large health system that is in the process of continued consolidation.  As a result, we have multiple registry software vendors in use across our cancer centers which prevents us from getting to a true enterprise orientation.  Any suggestions beyond trying to consolidate to a single vendor?

A – Thank you for your question.  The circumstance you describe is the reality in today’s constantly changing environment. While it’s easiest to suggest that you should consolidate to a single vendor solution, we know that is not always practical – certainly within a reasonable timeframe.  To that end, we’ve developed capabilities to consolidate the registry output from the major registry software vendors into a common reporting platform.  This solution allows you to immediately orchestrate your quality and accreditation reporting across facilities as needed, while keeping your separate systems. This is of course limited to the information that is being collected by each facility and their particular vendor, but we know that most facilities do collect the standard NAACCR data set. Unfortunately, some of the quality or accreditation reporting includes data sets beyond NAACCR data – and this continues to be problematic.  We’ll be happy to discuss this further with you and map to your specific circumstance.

Q – Have any of your customers combined billing or financial data with registry data?

A – Thanks for your question.  We hear this a lot.  We have not had the opportunity to do this ourselves as of yet. However, because the registry data is so much more detailed than any other data source, a lot of our clients are asked to export data out, where it is combined with financial and other data in one or more data warehouses. We believe that there is incremental benefits in combining this with financial information, which is why we are likely to look into this in the future.  If this is something that is of interest, we’d be happy to partner with you.

Q – We have our own data warehouse repository that is currently consolidating a range of clinical information across multiple data sources.  Do you have any examples of how the registry database typically interacts or coexists with this circumstance?

A – Yes, many of our customers have or are in the process of developing data warehouse solutions for different purposes. We typically like to engage with customers that are looking to incorporate registry data by starting with the basic question: What is your goal or purpose in collecting this information?  Often times, the requestor is an IT representative or a Project Manager, who is not familiar with the content but is simply looking to complete a project request.  We’ve found that most don’t understand or appreciate the complexity of registry data, particularly in its codified format, and therefore are unable to leverage it for any meaningful purpose. We’ve been successful with our engagement process to help teams understand and develop specific cases.  Of course, we continue to learn as well, and therefore are always looking to partner with our innovative customers.

Q – We have an oncologist that is very excited about precision medicine.  Do you have any examples of how registry insights can be used to support her efforts?

A – This is an area that is of great interest to us. The cancer registry does collect some valuable information such as some inherited traits, site specific prognostic indicators and biomarkers. This data can easily be analyzed in our software to look at in depth incidence, treatment, outcomes and survival information. We know that there is a lot more that the registry world as a whole could do. We have had some starting dialog with a couple of our customers although we haven’t made much progress to date. We’d love to work with your oncologist to learn about the opportunities and how we could help.