Roadmap Designed to Support EHR Integration for Biomarker Testing

May 31, 2024
Association of Cancer Care Centers offers interactive tool designed to help oncology groups establish the foundation for EHR integration of biomarkers

The Association of Cancer Care Centers (ACCC) has made available a new resource to support multidisciplinary cancer care teams prepare, implement, and evaluate electronic health record integrations for biomarker testing.

Biomarker testing has revolutionized cancer treatment, providing information about a patient's unique cancer, and allowing care teams to personalize treatment to better address the patient's specific makeup. Oncology teams consider biomarker testing invaluable for saving more lives. However, integrating biomarker testing results into the EHR can be burdensome. A survey conducted in late 2023 by the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) indicated that the "use of the electronic health record" was one of the top two work stressors for oncologists in active practice – and the No. 1 ranked stressor indicated for those working at a non-academic institution or practice.

"Integration of structured, discrete, searchable data points can lead to standardization of testing and easy retrieval of meaningful results all while decreasing the individual provider's effort on a day-to-day basis. EHR integration and data management of biomarkers is nothing short of transformative," said Jennifer Johnson, M.D., Ph.D., in a statement. An ACCC member, Johnson is co-director of the Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center Precision Medicine Initiative, and associate professor at the Department of Medical Oncology and Department of Otolaryngology at Thomas Jefferson University Health System.

The EHR Roadmap is an interactive tool designed to help oncology professionals learn essential information to establish the foundation for EHR integration and outlines strategies for team preparation, guiding effective implementation and evaluation processes. The EHR Roadmap includes a resource library with tools, checklists, publications, and insights from several cancer centers, giving cancer teams the resources to simplify EHR integrations into their practices, specifically for biomarker ordering and reporting.

Its tools were developed based on outcomes from the ACCC Working Summit: Solutions for EHR Integration, facilitated by ACCC in the fall of 2023. At that meeting, multidisciplinary oncology professionals gathered to discuss challenges to EHR integration and laid the groundwork for the EHR Roadmap.

Karen Huelsman, M.S., L.G.C., an ACCC member and precision oncology lead and genetic counselor at TriHealth Cancer and Blood Institute, who presented a case study at the Summit, observed how wide-ranging cancer centers were in implementation.

"During the Summit, we noticed that there were many centers on varying parts of the process, some were very early on feeling frustrated with EHR integration, and some different centers were midway, where they had started implementation, but had run into some barriers that were stalling the process,” she said. “Other centers had already fully implemented their EHR and were already using active and live ordering and resulting techniques. At the very forefront were centers that were already building reports that use discrete variants and showing the uptake of utilization by their ordering providers.”

The roadmap was created in partnership with LUNGevity and with support from AstraZeneca and Genentech.

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