Breast Cancer Coverage from Every Angle

Quality Care 2019: Pilot Program Focuses on Improving Breast Cancer Staging Data Entries

By: Kayci Reyer
Posted: Monday, September 23, 2019

According to research presented at the 2019 American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Quality Care Symposium in San Diego (Abstract 117), a quality training program focused on increasing the number of staging entries in the EPIC electronic health record system was successful. The project group targeted entries for patients with breast cancer as well as those with prostate cancer.

“Entry of discrete elements of staging in the [electronic health record] supports and improves efficiencies for clinical notes, therapy summaries, survivorship plans, clinical decision-making, pathway use, timely authorizations, clinical trial eligibility evaluations, as well as clinical, financial, and quality outcomes,” noted Linda D. Bosserman, MD, of the City of Hope Medical Group in California, and colleagues.

The quality training program project group first collected baseline information on staging data entry in the EPIC system. The group then created and implemented a 12-week pilot study involving five medical oncologists (3 in breast cancer, two in prostate cancer), five surgeons (in breast cancer), and three urologists (in prostate cancer). Plan-Do-Study-Act cycles occurred at weeks 8 and 12.

Prior to the pilot study, complete staging in the EPIC health record was 6% for patients with prostate cancer. At 6 weeks, capture of complete staging from breast cancer medical oncologists and surgeons had increased to 20%. Additional results are still being captured.

Disclosure: The study authors’ disclosure information may be found at

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