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About This Project

ACCC launched Optimizing Electronic Health Records (EHRs) to address the need for accurate, integrated, and comprehensive data capture and analysis. Through this initiative, ACCC is developing resources to help cancer programs overcome common challenges and barriers to EHR use. From data capture to measurement and analysis, ACCC provides real-world examples of how programs in the community are effectively using their EHRs to enhance patient care coordination.

Project Objective/Goals

To assist cancer programs by increasing their understanding of:

  • How to optimize their EHRs to enhance patient care coordination
  • How to capture and utilize EHR data to measure the impact and value of cancer care delivery

Project Components

  • Focus Groups
  • Survey
  • Site Visits

Focus Groups

For this project, ACCC facilitated two focus groups comprised of representatives from the multidisciplinary cancer care team including administrators, pharmacists, financial advocates, and nurses. The first was held in October 2016 during the ACCC 33rd National Oncology Conference; the second took place in February 2017. During the focus groups sessions, experienced, expert cancer program professionals described their current EHR systems, shared the biggest barriers/challenges encountered and greatest successes, discussed their experiences in transitioning from one EHR system to another and what they would do differently based on these experiences, and issues related to interoperability or ease of health information exchange across systems. Among the topics discussed:

  • Automated reporting
  • Billing challenges
  • EHR system transition planning
  • EHR implementation team (super users)
  • IT support
  • Data capture and reporting
  • Communication and care coordination

Four key themes emerged from these conversations. Read More.

Participating in the focus groups were:

Sandra Areias, MSN, RN, OCN
Nurse Navigator Lead, Oncology Care Model
Lahey Health Cancer Services

Debra Bubba, MSN, RN
Administrative Director Oncology Service Line
St. Luke’s University Health Network

Becky DeKay, MBA
Vice President Oncology Services
University Health Shreveport

Steven D’Amato, BSPharm
Executive Director
New England Cancer Specialists

Dianne Driscoll, RN, OCN
Nurse Manager II
Wentworth-Douglass Hospital, Seacoast Cancer Center

Cassidy Hood
EMR Support Analyst
St Luke’s Mountain States Tumor Institute

Una Hopkins, DNP, RN, FNP-BC
Administrative Director
Dickstein Cancer Treatment Center at White Plains Hospital

Jeffrey Kendall, PsyD
Director, Oncology Support Services
University of Minnesota Cancer Care

Rachel Lawlor, RN, MHA
Director Oncology Services
Mosaic Life Care

Ali McBride, PharmD, MS, BCPS, BCOP
Clinical Coordinator Hematology/Oncology
The University of Arizona Cancer Center

Anne Marie F. Rainey, MSN, RN, CHC
Compliance and Quality Control Officer
Clearview Cancer Institute

Marlene Richardville, RN, BSN, OCN, CPHQ
Nurse Manager
Good Samaritan Hospital

Michelle Rose, MBA
Practice Manager Lead
Lipson Cancer Institute

Matt Sherer, MBA, MHA
Administrative Director, Oncology Services
FirstHealth Moore Regional Hospital

Lisa Thomas-Rhoton
Patient/Family Financial Advocate
St Luke’s Mountain States Tumor Institute

Carme Tripp, RN, MHA
Executive Director
Southcoast Cancer Centers

Cheryll Willin, MSN, NPC, AOCN
Clinical Director, Oncology Services
Cancer Center of Santa Barbara w/Sansum Clinic

Carolyn Wilson, MSN, RN, CCM
Oncology Nursing Project Specialist
Winchester Medical /Valley Health


In early 2017, ACCC conducted a survey on current usage of electronic health record (EHR) systems in ACCC member programs. Survey responses are helping ACCC identify effective strategies to assist member programs in optimizing their EHR systems to improve patient care. The survey looked at how programs are using EHRs (e.g., for information collection, data analysis, and patient care coordination). Through an analysis of survey results, ACCC is working to identify solutions for overcoming common EHR challenges and barriers, as well as strategies for optimizing use of EHRs for coordinated, patient-centered care delivery and quality reporting.

View survey highlights here.

Site Visits

In spring 2017, ACCC conducted site visits at two ACCC member programs that demonstrate aspects of effective EHR use for care coordination and quality reporting:

North Star Lodge
Virginia Mason Memorial
Yakima, WA

Southcoast Centers for Cancer Care
Fairhaven, MA

These site visits provided an in-depth look at the programs’ EHR systems and data collection and analysis processes with a focus on the following areas:

  • Recent and/or upcoming data migrations
  • EHR use
  • Data and reporting
  • Care coordination

A report published with Oncology Issues that synthesizes information from the project’s survey results, focus groups findings, and the sites visits.

Project Findings

ACCC will create tools and resources based on the information gathered through the focus groups, survey, and site visits, to include:

  • Blog series hosted on ACCC website.
  • Session at the ACCC 34th National Oncology Conference in Nashville, TN.
  • A summary report of case studies published with Oncology Issues in November/December 2017.

Our Supporter

Funding & Support provided by Pfizer Oncology