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UK Researchers Link EHR Data to Clinical Cancer Registry

December 6, 2012
by Gabriel Perna
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The University of Kentucky has created a model for electronic health record (EHR) reporting of cancer cases to the state’s cancer data registry, it recently announced, while touting the link as the first effort of its kind in the nation. According to the researchers responsible for the model, it allows Kentucky oncologists and other providers to feed clinical data to the Kentucky Cancer Registry in real-time.

This link, the University says, can help helping epidemiologists see trends in cancer statistics faster than they ever have had the chance to do. By doing this, the researchers say it would help the statewide cancer control efforts have the most current information about cancer diagnoses and treatments in Kentucky. 

“This project is laying the groundwork for electronic reporting not only in Kentucky but across the United States,” Eric Durbin, director of Cancer Informatics at the Kentucky Cancer Registry, and one of the effort’s principal investigators, said in a statement.

The project was a funded as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) Comparative Effectiveness Research activities through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Researchers were awarded a sub-contract of nearly $1 million to link EHR data to the state’s population-based cancer surveillance system. 

The first run of the system was in October where five new cancer cases were transmitted. According to the researchers, the Kentucky Cancer Registry, the Kentucky Regional Extension Center, and Kentucky Health Information Exchange are teaming with 43 cancer care providers across the state to establish EHR reporting to the registry.

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