Sunday, February 28, 2010

Cancer Specific EHRs Needed

Electronic health records have the potential to transform clinical practices and research. Yet, even with financial incentives, the adoption of EHRs by clinicians depends on how well the solution integrates with how patient care is managed, how the work flows, and having the right sources for data. Currently, general EHR solutions fail to support the unique treatments provided by practicing oncologists.

To support oncologists EHR needs, NCI’s Center for Biomedical Informatics and Information Technology (CBIIT) created the “Clinical Oncology Requirements for the EHR (CORE) project. CORE has brought CBIIT, the American Society of Clinical Oncology, and NCI’s Community Cancer Center (NCCCP) program together to study the problem.

So far, progress has been made to collect and refine functional specifications based on the needs of the community. Requests for Proposals were issued to help the EHR vendor community develop a functional EHR. It is anticipated that the pilot implementations of this new EHR will be in place at selected NCCCP institutions before the end of 2010.

CBIIT plans to work with the NCCCP and other stakeholders to develop and deploy standards-based, oncology specific information to hospitals, physician practices, and consumer EHRs. As it is right now, an open source and open standards-based oncology EHR referred to as caEHR that is targeted directly to the ambulatory oncology community module does not yet exist.

CBIIT’s goal is to help develop the caEHR project by developing a set of standards, or perhaps use other standards, and then vet the standards to a number of participating NCI Community Cancer Center sites.

CBIIT wants to receive ideas and comments on the overall approach to EHR architecture. The information is needed on the standards, recommended technical and deployment approaches for an EHR, information on critical issues, and how the impact of the adoption of the technology.

On February 17th, RFI (S10-126) was published by According to the RFI, SAIC-Frederick, Inc. is seeking market information on sources to help CBIIT implement the CORE program.

The SAIC-F Point of Contact is Gary Krauss, Subcontract Specialist at