Idea submitted by: Valerie Watzlaf, PhD
Healthcare facilities are required by law to report cancer-related data items to state and central cancer registries. Since the cancer data is not required to be reported concurrently, it can be outdated, incomplete and underutilized. Also, risk factors of a specific cancer that may not be found in the medical record are not always included in the cancer registry.
Patients and family are needed to provide this data directly. Cancer registrars, the employees who perform abstracting of medical records and other data sources, for cancer registries, are at a major shortage. Faced with these issues, Care Communications, Inc. along with Records One, Inc. and the University of Pittsburgh's Health Information Management Department will initiate the development of software products that utilize natural language processing to extract cancer data from the electronic medical record into a cancer registry repository automatically.
Secure smartphone applications (Care to Share app) will also be developed so that patients can add to the quality and completeness of the cancer data. Patients and providers will be able to talk to each other through the Care to Share app regarding their care, treatment, and follow-up.
A focus on breast and prostate cancer cases will be used in the pilot testing of the technology. Several types of healthcare facilities and software vendors may serve as users of the new technology.