Publication Abstract

Authors: Clarke CL, Feigelson HS

Title: Developing an Algorithm to Identify History of Cancer Using Electronic Medical Records.

Journal: EGEMS (Wash DC) 4(1):1209-

Date: 2016

Abstract: INTRODUCTION/OBJECTIVE: The objective of this study was to develop an algorithm to identify Kaiser Permanente Colorado (KPCO) members with a history of cancer. BACKGROUND: Tumor registries are used with high precision to identify incident cancer, but are not designed to capture prevalent cancer within a population. We sought to identify a cohort of adults with no history of cancer, and thus, we could not rely solely on the tumor registry. METHODS: We included all KPCO members between the ages of 40-75 years who were continuously enrolled during 2013 (N=201,787). Data from the tumor registry, chemotherapy files, inpatient and outpatient claims were used to create an algorithm to identify members with a high likelihood of cancer. We validated the algorithm using chart review and calculated sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value (PPV) and negative predictive value (NPV) for occurrence of cancer. FINDINGS: The final version of the algorithm achieved a sensitivity of 100 percent and specificity of 84.6 percent for identifying cancer. If we relied on the tumor registry alone, 47 percent of those with a history of cancer would have been missed. DISCUSSION: Using the tumor registry alone to identify a cohort of patients with prior cancer is not sufficient. In the final version of the algorithm, the sensitivity and PPV were improved when a diagnosis code for cancer was required to accompany oncology visits or chemotherapy administration. CONCLUSION: Electronic medical record (EMR) data can be used effectively in combination with data from the tumor registry to identify health plan members with a history of cancer.