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Clinical and Translational Science Center

Clinical and Translational Science Center

NEWS | April 30, 2014

Athena becomes first health network to adopt electric data sharing standard for cancer

(SACRAMENTO, Calif.)

The five University of California medical centers and their affiliates participating in the Athena Breast Health Network are using a new guide for sharing electronic data for breast cancer treatment. Developed by the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) and approved through ASCO's Health Level Seven International committee (HL7), the guide will become a national data exchange standard. With the guide, Athena can utilize structured data capture tools for coordination of care, registry submission and research.

“ASCO applauds the leadership of both Athena and the Institute for Population Health Improvement in adopting this data sharing treatment plan and guide,” said ASCO President Clifford A. Hudis.“Their use of these standards will help physicians and practices move towards secure sharing of electronic information, so that they can improve patient care.” through the Athena Breast Health Network.

Electronic health records often contain data that cannot easily be shared among physicians or contributed to quality improvement, public health reporting or analytics. In addition, the current exchange standards did not include disease-specific templates needed for continuity of cancer care. To fill this void, ASCO hosted a Data Interoperability Standards Summit in February 2013 to encourage collaboration in developing standards that will overcome these barriers. The society selected adjuvant treatment for breast cancer as the focus for the first oncology standard. The draft standard was approved by open ballot through HL7, an accredited Standards Developing Organization (SDO) and the leading global SDO focused solely on health care, in May 2013.

Athena’s Breast Health Network participated in the larger Interoperability to Support Practice Improvement (INSPIRE) project, sponsored by the UC Davis Institute for Population Health Improvement (IPHI) and the California Office of Health Information Integrity (CalOHII). INSPIRE will produce breast cancer treatment plans and summaries for the Health Information Home, a patient-centered repository supporting care coordination. Integrated into the patient history, the information can support clinical care, registry reporting, and ultimately streamline clinical trials and quality improvement. In adopting this guide, Athena can now use a standardized format to transmit data across the systems supporting the project. The project is sending test data and expects to initiate transmission of patient data starting in the summer of 2014.

“It was critical to understand clinician work flow and to simplify data collection at the point of care,” said Michael Hogarth, professor of medicine at UC Davis. “We investigated clinician workflows and systems that would identify opportunities for structured data capture. We selected the widely implemented CDA standard as a foundation for the data exchange piece of our demonstration project. This is a strong step toward our goal of continuous improvement.”  

ASCO is now expanding the guide for electronic data sharing with data relevant to the treatment of colon cancer and plans to submit the expanded guide to HL7 for review and approval in the fall 2014.

Project INSPIRE is funded as part of the Department of Health and Human Services Grant #90HT0029/01-02 (ARRA) to California Health and Human Services Agency in collaboration with UC Davis Institute for Population Health Improvement (IPHI) and California Health eQuality (CHeQ).

About Institute for population Health Improvement and CHeQ

The UC Davis Institute for Population Health Improvement is working to align the many determinants of health to promote and sustain the well-being of both individuals and their communities. Established in 2011, the institute is leading a wide array of initiatives, from improving health-care quality and health information exchange to advancing surveillance and prevention programs for heart disease and cancer. The California Health eQuality (CHeQ), a program of the UC Davis Institute for Population Health Improvement, is a catalyst for health information exchange (HIE) for California. Funded by the California Health and Human Services Agency and under the auspices of the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT State HIE Cooperative Agreement, CHeQ is promoting coordinated care through health information exchange. Programs including a trusted exchange environment, improved public health capacity for electronic reporting, HIE acceleration funding opportunities, and the monitoring of HIE adoption lay a foundation for improved quality of care for all Californians. More information is available at http://www.ucdmc.ucdavis.edu/iphi/Programs/cheq/.

About ASCO
Founded in 1964, the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) is the world’s leading professional organization representing physicians who care for people with cancer. With nearly 35,000 members, ASCO is committed to improving cancer care through scientific meetings, educational programs, and peer-reviewed journals. ASCO is supported by its affiliate organization, the Conquer Cancer Foundation, which funds ground-breaking research and programs that make a tangible difference in the lives of people with cancer. For ASCO information and resources, visit www.asco.org. Patient-oriented cancer information is available at www.cancer.net. 

About ATHENA BREAST HEALTH NETWORK
The Athena Breast Health Network (Athena - http://athenacarenetwork.org) is a unique collaboration among the five University of California (UC) medical/cancer centers (UC Davis, UC Irvine, UCLA, UC San Diego and UCSF), the Graduate School of Public Health at UC Berkeley, and many other public and private partners. The Network, led by Laura Esserman, MD MBA, takes a transdisciplinary approach by design, and its participants work together across fields including: epidemiology, genetics, molecular biology, psychology and social and behavioral sciences, primary care, radiology, pathology, oncology, surgery and health services research. Also included are clinical staff and genetic counselors, health information technology professionals, health care administrators, and importantly, patient advocates. 

About ASCO
Founded in 1964, the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) is the world’s leading professional organization representing physicians who care for people with cancer. With nearly 35,000 members, ASCO is committed to improving cancer care through scientific meetings, educational programs, and peer-reviewed journals. ASCO is supported by its affiliate organization, the Conquer Cancer Foundation, which funds ground-breaking research and programs that make a tangible difference in the lives of people with cancer. For ASCO information and resources, visit www.asco.org. Patient-oriented cancer information is available at www.cancer.net.