In an interview with The ASCO Post, Robert S. Miller, MD, FACP, Senior Director, Quality and Guidelines, ASCO, and Medical Director, CancerLinQ™, described how the system could work with data specific to radiation oncology.
“The system is in the rapid build phase now, what we are calling the minimal viable product, or beta launch, with 15 vanguard practices. We’re bringing them in one or two at a time. We’re learning lessons from each one on how to map the data in their electronic health record system into our cloud.
“Some radiation oncology information will be in the medical oncology record as a note, or increasingly in the electronic health record, a structured note. We’re putting the information into what we’re calling interaction types—broad clinical categories like laboratories and demographic information. Radiation oncology–specific information could be mapped to those categories.
“One of the challenges—and this is a technical one that involves working with the vendors—is plugging in the machines. The linear accelerators speak to [the radiation oncology] electronic health record. We potentially could create a connection with those machines someday.
“The take-home message for me is that this has to be a multidisciplinary approach. Big data analysis and how it might benefit the care of patients with cancer and improve quality has to be a bunch of people working together. The other lesson I got out of this conference [2015 Big Data Workshop] is the bigger, the better. The greater the size of the database, the more insights you can gain from the data.” ■
Disclosure: Dr. Miller reported no potential conflicts of interest.
Radiation oncologists dream of a day when, faced with a new patient sitting in their office, they can quickly consult a computer database offering specific treatment recommendations based on accurate, freshly updated data from millions of previously treated patients with cancer. To hasten that day, ...