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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

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

Structured Data and Synoptic Reporting in Anatomic Pathology

The collection and sharing of data is a growing trend in healthcare, and Pathology is no exception. In the face of value-based reimbursement models, clinical Pathology laboratories are already gathering and leveraging huge quantities of data that are standardized across the industry. By collecting, sharing, and analyzing this data, clinical labs are able to demonstrate results and added value by assisting institutions in better population health management.

Anatomic Pathology reporting has historically been more narrative, but it can still benefit from structured data collection and distribution. There is already data collection and sharing occurring in cancer research, with the College of American Pathologists' electronic Cancer Checklists and the California Cancer Registry being two examples. While those are the most recognizable instances, the benefits of synoptic reporting and structured data to anatomic Pathology are not confined to cancer reporting or CAP compliance.

Topics: CAP synoptic reporting