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Health IT Work Group

Initiatives of the Health IT Work Group (Health IT WG)

ASCO supports the adoption of electronic health records (EHRs) and other health information technology to improve the quality of cancer care. ASCO’s Health Information Technology Work Groupcomprised of volunteers with experience in oncology, informatics, and other specialtiesis charged with devising and implementing ASCO's health IT initiatives.

Data Interoperability Standards

The Health IT WG and its Data Standards & Interoperability Task Force have been developing health information technology standards for cancer over a period of several years. ASCO began developing cancer-specific data sharing standards, also called “interoperability standards,” in 2012.

“Interoperability” refers to:

  • The ability of providers from different practices to share oncology data directly from one application, such as an EHR, to another. Data can be shared with other medical professionals, and with the patient.
  • The ability to share data across different electronic health platforms. 

Current work on this data interoperability initiative centers around ASCO's suite of Chemotherapy Treatment Plan and Summary templates. Learn more about ASCO’s efforts to increase interoperability in cancer care and how to implement ASCO’s standards in your organization.

Clinical Oncology Requirements for the EHR (CORE) Document

ASCO collaborated with the National Cancer Institute (NCI) and the NCI Community Cancer Centers Program (NCCP) to create the Clinical Oncology Requirements for the EHR (CORE). This document, released in 2009, details the informatics needs of practicing oncologists. It covers functional requirements, data element specifications, and interoperability requirements.

Policy Expertise

ASCO actively comments on government legislation and policies and positions proposed by other professional societies. The Health IT Working Group provides expertise and input in developing ASCO’s positions related to health IT, standards, and interoperability.

ASCO provides help to practices in selecting, installing, and adopting Electronic Health Records. Practices might find the installation of EHR software to be particularly complicated. Therefore, ASCO has partnered with the American College of Physicians in recommending AmericanEHR as a resource during the process. AmericanEHR can help with the many issues surrounding EHR software adoption.

Random Quote

"Precision medicine has begun to transform the lives of many patients with cancer, but its application in clinical practice is enormously complex. ASCO hopes to contribute to and advance the field by providing oncologists with the training, tools, and data they need."
Richard L. Schilsky, MD, FACP, FASCO
ASCO Chief Medical Officer