In 2016, 1,685,210 new cancer cases and 595,690 cancer deaths are projected to occur in the United States. Cancer continues to be the second leading cause of death in the country, just behind heart disease. Efficient and effective cancer diagnosis and treatment centers add to a healthy bottom line for today’s health systems and further emphasize the strategic importance of the Oncology Service Line.
In a 2007 survey conducted by The Health Academy’s Oncology Forum, Oncology leaders identified their biggest challenges to growth as physician alignment (90%), information technology (IT) systems (85%), and competition (75%). Almost a decade later, the IT challenges for integration and data extraction continue for Oncology.
The vast majority of cancer care takes place in the fragmented outpatient environment. Adding to this fragmentation, in many markets there are disparate IT systems and providers, all trying to marry the business requirements with the patient needs for this service line. In most cases, getting a coherent cancer record is not possible. For this reason, many hospital systems overlook the IT needs of this large service line, focusing primarily on the inpatient Oncology services imbedded within the hospital.