Monitoring Lung Cancer Screening Use and Outcomes at Four Cancer Research Network Sites

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Abstract

Rationale:

Lung cancer screening registries can monitor screening outcomes and improve quality of care.

Objectives:

To describe nascent lung cancer screening programs and share efficient data collection approaches for mandatory registry reporting in four integrated health care systems of the National Cancer Institute-funded Cancer Research Network.

Methods:

We documented the distinctive characteristics of lung cancer screening programs, and we provide examples of strategies to facilitate data collection and describe early challenges and possible solutions. In addition, we report preliminary data on use and outcomes of screening with low-dose computed tomography at each of the participating sites.

Results:

Programs varied in approaches to confirming patient eligibility, ordering screening low-dose computed tomographic scans, and coordinating follow-up care. Most data elements were collected from structured fields in electronic health records, but sites also made use of standardized order templates, local procedure codes, identifiable hashtags in radiology reports, and natural language processing algorithms. Common challenges included incomplete documentation of tobacco smoking history, difficulty distinguishing between scans performed for screening versus diagnosis or surveillance, and variable adherence with use of standardized templates. Adherence with eligibility criteria as well as the accuracy and completeness of data collection appeared to depend at least partly on availability of personnel and other resources to support the successful implementation of screening.

Conclusions:

To maximize the effectiveness of lung cancer screening, minimize the burden of data collection, and facilitate research and quality improvement, clinical workflow and information technology should be purposefully designed to ensure that patients meet eligibility criteria and receive appropriate follow-up testing.

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