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Using Data Transparency to Improve Cancer Care

Karma Kreizenbeck, Project Director, Hutchinson Institute for Cancer Outcomes Research (HICOR)

The cost of cancer care is one of the fastest growing components of healthcare spending in the United States, and the quality of cancer care delivery has been found to vary considerably. The need for efforts to improve the value of cancer care by improving outcomes while controlling or reducing costs has never been more apparent. In partnership with multiple committed stakeholders—patient groups, health plans, and providers—HICOR is generating consensus-based, clinically relevant, and actionable performance measures.

Initially, HICOR is reporting the methods and results privately to the clinics, to ensure that data quality and accuracy issues can be resolved before public reporting of clinic-level records. However, HICOR is dedicated to publicly reporting performance metrics and to providing consumer and patient-facing tools to support decision making. Toward this goal, HICOR is developing a Web-enabled tool to display reports generated from a linked cost and outcomes database developed by our team in partnership with LabKey. This tool, aimed at providing regional partners with updated reporting on trends in oncology, is now in the beta testing phase with partners. The ultimate goal: to provide results on an interactive website accessible to patients, providers, health insurers, and the purchaser community.

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