Today, it is critical for organizations to harness and leverage their data and therefore, “Big Data” has and will continue to transform entire industries into being smarter and faster. However, the oncology industry has not yet seen this revolution.
Despite the growth of EMRs, a lack of standards, segregating information in silos, fragmentation of information, and the abundance of unstructured data has prevented the oncology industry from learning from real-world patient experiences.
Another issue is that only four percent of patients diagnosed with cancer in the U.S. participate in clinical trials. For the rest of the patient population, the data is captured in silos and in inconsistent and unstructured formats.
Most of the clinically valuable data in cancer care resides in doctor and nurse notes, pathology reports, PDFs, and other unstructured forms. Even structured data has major integration issues with EMRs having adopted their own custom ontologies and standards. Traditional population health analytics are built using claims data which can attain quick results but lacks the depth required to understand a disease as complex as cancer.
To help remedy the problem, the National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) www.nccn.org is collaborating with Flatiron Health www.flatiron.com to create a cloud-based repository containing data from clinical professionals at NCCN Member Institutions to form the “NCCN Outcomes Database.”
“The collaboration with Flatiron Health will provide oncology stakeholders with the right information and insights to make informed decisions,” said Robert W. Carlson, MD, CEO, at NCCN. “This database will give NCCN a leading edge in determining strategies for optimizing treatment protocols as well as appropriate goals for oncology policy.”
The EHR data will be aggregated for cancer quality and outcomes assessment, as well as key trends and patterns as patients with cancer are identified. The NCCN Member Institutions will have access to Flatiron Health’s cloud-based analytics tool called OncoAnalytics™ www.flatiorn.com/platform/providers.
OncoAnalaytics is being built to help cancer care providers, cancer centers including community practices, academic medical centers, hospital systems, and integrated delivery networks. In order to work with the system, critical patient data must be captured electronically in an EMR system and the database for the EMR system must be accessible by third parties.
The system will provide actionable clinical and business insights based on population statistics, reimbursement treatment and utilization patterns, plus other key performance indicators will be available for Member Institution inquiries as well as to external parties through a joint commercialization agreement between NCCN and Flatiron Health.