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Time, Money, and Lives Blog

Mandatory Cancer Reporting in California Begins January 1, 2019

The benefits of big data in healthcare have already been proven around the world. In fact, the collection and analysis of data is the fastest growing trend in healthcare. Data collected from across multiple organizations within a population can be used to study trends and develop strategies geared toward the most effective treatment and prevention of disease. With this in mind, the California Department of Public Health created the California Cancer Registry (CCR) to gather data and analyze the various factors affecting cancer risk. The California State Assembly then passed a law requiring Pathologists to report all cancer diagnoses to the CCR using the College of American Pathologists' protocols. The law goes into effect Jan 1, 2019.

"But wait!" You might be thinking, "I don't practice in California; why should I care about their laws and registries?"

Topics: Cancer Checklists CAP synoptic reporting

Speech Recognition Doesn't Have to be a Pain in the Gross Room

No two days in a gross room are the same. I experienced this first hand as a technician before I came to work at Voicebrook. Maybe, like me, you are a biopsy technician and receive the surprise ECC that takes 30 cassettes to entirely submit, or maybe you are PA and receive the surprise derm frozen that requires all hands on deck. No matter your role, you never know what curveballs the day has in store for you.

Topics: Speech Recognition

Pathology Reports Running Slow? It Could be Your Security System.

Did you know that the average person living in America now spends ten or more hours a day in front of a screen? This trend is not slowing down! For most people, work is taking up most of this screen time. In fact, you may be looking at a “screen saver” of some trees or a green field, just to remind you of what the outside world looked like…oh memories. I can't reverse this trend, but I might be able to offer a few suggestions to decrease the number of issues you face while in front of that screen.

CAP Issues Important Notice Regarding its Endometrium eCC Template

On May 17, the CAP Structured Data Team discovered an important error in its template for the Endometrium electronic Cancer Checklist (eCC) released in June 2017 and February 2018. The error involves incorrect text in the reportText attribute for two questions:

  • ?Number of Para-aortic Nodes with isolated Tumor Cells (0.2 mm or less)#
  • ?Laterality of Para-aortic Node(s) with Tumor

The reportText attribute contained the text "Pelvic Nodes" instead of "Para-aortic Nodes."

California Makes Reporting Diagnoses to the Cancer Registry Mandatory

Healthcare organizations around the world have discovered the benefits of "big data" thanks to the enormous amounts of data available from electronic health records (EHRs). Up to now, though, the data have been largely unstructured, especially in Anatomic Pathology. This has meant that it is not always easy to mine the data for effective analysis, but that is changing. Many organizations are moving towards synoptic reporting and structured data capture. The difference between the two is subtle, but important. Synoptic reports are formatted for easy consumption by the human eye while structured data are formatted to be sorted, stored, and analyzed by computers.

Topics: Cancer Checklists CAP synoptic reporting