Staff at comprehensive cancer centers around the country are responsible for collecting and reporting metrics on their center’s catchment area, both annually and every five years, to ensure their organization is appropriately serving the population surrounding the center. The importance and existence of this requirement is clear: a cancer center has an obligation to serve their population and must present this by highlighting the impact they have in reducing the burden of cancer in the community. However, it can be can be difficult to consistently collect, connect and present the metrics necessary to showcase a center’s efforts in serving their catchment area. The following strategies can help your center more efficiently and accurately approach this process.
1. Collect metrics more frequently
Historically, cancer centers have relied on population metrics to understand their catchment area. These metrics were collected within a cancer registry and distributed by the local hospital system. The hospital system’s cancer registry is up to six months out-of-date, due to the national reporting requirements. This means that when cancer center’s report on their catchment area on an annual basis, the data within the registry is likely not complete for the same time period as research accrual counts. Not only does this decrease the accuracy of the center’s reporting, the delayed periods between data collection also make it difficult to know if they are on target for serving the required 10% of their catchment area’s cancer population.1 Without frequent and accurate data, the center cannot make timely adjustments to their accrual strategy in order to enroll the required demographics.
So, how do you collect population metrics more frequently? This leads us to our second strategy, connecting your EMR to your CTMS.
2. Connect your EMR to your CTMS
Understanding the relationship between your hospital’s population and your cancer center’s accrual can be represented by the data collected in their respective systems, the electronic medical record (EMR) and the clinical trial management system (CTMS). By connecting these systems, you can more frequently track the demographic and enrollment trends within your population and adjust your accrual and other strategies accordingly.
3. Leverage a Business Intelligence Solution
One of the most inefficient steps in highlighting your center’s impact on cancer within your center’s population is to connect the multiple demographic data points to tell a powerful story. While the Community Outreach requirement of the Cancer Center Support Grant (CCSG) is relatively subjective, utilizing a business intelligence solution can help connect and organize multiple data points, so you can spend more time in other areas that achieve your community outreach goals. Forte Insights, a business intelligence solution that integrates with connects to OnCore Enterprise Research system, features a dashboard specifically dedicated to connecting and presenting data relevant to your catchment area. The Accrual vs Center Population dashboard gives you real-time insight into your accrual of minority and center-unique populations, so you can identify areas that need attention, begin constructing your story for your annual CCSG progress report, and have an accurate picture into how your center is serving your community.
Using these strategies, your cancer center can streamline and improve reporting on your catchment area. To learn more about Forte Insights, sign up for our Insights newsletter. This newsletter provides educational content to help you explore how your research organization can better operate as a business and provides updates to recently released dashboards and upcoming open demonstrations of Forte Insights.