Online Program

Student to the Rescue: Processing Pathology (Path) Lab Files at a Central Cancer Registry (CCR)

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Wesley Padron, MHA, Missouri Cancer Registry and Research Center, Columbia, MO
Jeannette Jackson-Thompson, MSPH, PhD, Department of Health Management & Informatics/Missouri Cancer Registry & Research Center and MU Informatics Institute, University of Missouri (MU) School of Medicine, Columbia, MO
Angela Martin, CTR, Missouri Cancer Registry and Research Center, University of Missouri School of Medicine, Columbia, MO
Saba Yemane, BS, Missouri Cancer Registry & Research Center/Dept. of Health Management & Informatics, University of Missouri School of Medicine, Columbia, MO
Iris Zachary, PhD, MSHI, CTR, Department of Health Management & Informatics, University of Missouri School of Medicine, Columbia, MO
Background: In 2006, Missouri was one of 18 CCRs and one path lab participating in a pilot of CDC’s ePath Implementation Project. The project has expanded to 40+ registries and a number of national and regional labs. In 2014, the Missouri Cancer Registry and Research Center (MCR-ARC) was receiving data from nine path labs but had no one to process the files unless the task could be assigned to a Graduate Research Assistant (GRA).

Purpose: Accurately process path lab files to assess total volume and number and percent of records requiring review.  

Methods: The Database Administrator (DBA) explained the automated process whereby HL7-formatted data is transmitted via PHIN-MS to the CCR and tasks to be performed. I moved records into a holding folder. From this folder, I ran them through eMaRC Plus, a software program that processes the files (number of reports; reports needing review, on hold or completed; reports with zero cancer terms present; file type; and origin lab). After processing, files were separated into groups based on upload date and path lab of origin, copied and stored.

Results:The largest contributor submitted 10,646 records between August and December; 1,257 (11.8%) required review. Other labs submitted a total of 10,758 records; 1,322 (12.3%) required review. I used an MS Excel spreadsheet to keep track of when they were uploaded and the volume of reports from each lab.

Conclusions/Discussion:  Procedures for processing path lab files were easy to follow. Having a GRA process files makes this valuable source of data needed for identifying unreported cases and improving the quality of previously-reported cases available to QA staff in a timely manner.

Learning Areas:

Administration, management, leadership
Communication and informatics
Other professions or practice related to public health
Public health administration or related administration

Learning Objectives:
Describe the history of ePath file processing at the Missouri Cancer Registry and Research Center. Discuss how processes and personnel changes have affected this process. Explain the role student research assistants can play in helping central cancer registries meet program standards and requirements.

Keyword(s): Cancer, Information Technology

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: In May 2015 I will complete my MHA degree with a Certificate in Informatics. I have worked at MCR-ARC as a Graduate Research Assistant for 7 months. My primary responsibility is managing the Pathology Lab files, the topic of my presentation. Co-authors include MCR-ARC's director and database administrator (DBA)who supervised my work. They and other co-authors have presented dozens of abstracts in their years at MCR-ARC; all co-authors are familiar with the work being presented.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.