Health outcomes measurement is key to proving high-quality cancer care delivery

iKnowMed™ oncology-specific EHR improves care with outcomes data

The Woodlands, Texas (Feb. 24, 2011) — With healthcare reform on the horizon and cancer care costs on the rise, community-based oncology practices need a common technology platform that can capture and record valuable patient information while proving that patients are getting high-quality care. The unique relationship between iKnowMed™ electronic health record (EHR) system and US Oncology, a division of McKesson Corporation and a leading integrated oncology company, enables physicians to have access to the captured and compiled information that can be used for research studies, analysis and outcomes reporting.

“Having an oncology-specific EHR like iKnowMed is extremely convenient for oncologists, but what’s even more impressive is that the information the system compiles can be used to study patients’ health outcomes and prove that the oncologists are providing high-quality, effective cancer care,” said Roy Beveridge, M.D., chief medical officer, US Oncology. “Health outcomes measurement is key to proving that patients are getting the quality care they need and deserve, and it’s becoming a much sought after capability in technology systems. It is imperative to recognize the importance of standardized documentation through electronic health records to enable outcomes measurement at the practice level and across a broad network of providers.”

US Oncology acquired iKnowMed EHR in 2004 and linked the system to the company’s Healthcare Informatics group — a team consisting of pharmacists, oncology nurses, outcomes researchers, clinical data analysts and statisticians who extract and analyze health outcomes data for useful trends, both positive and negative in the quality of care. When practices choose to provide their patient information for health outcomes studies through the data entered into iKnowMed EHR, US Oncology’s Healthcare Informatics group can access aggregated patient information and use it to track the top 15 tumor types, which occur in approximately 65 percent of patients.

This robust data collection can be discreetly segmented and de-identified using detailed criteria for specific research studies. The data is then used to improve cancer treatments or discontinue use, depending on the analysis. In 2008 and 2009, physicians affiliated with the US Oncology Research Network published 10 studies using data collected in iKnowMed EHR. Topics included everything from treatment guidelines for anemia to the cost-effectiveness of non-small cell lung cancer pathways. In 2010, an additional nine studies were submitted or presented at major medical meetings throughout the world including the European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO), International Society for Pharmacoeconomics and Outcomes Research (ISPOR) and American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO).

Andrew Johnston, US Oncology, will lecture on the use of electronic health records as a cornerstone of health outcomes measurement, including a detailed description of the benefits to community-based oncologists. The 25-minute presentation will take place at the 2:35 pm Learning Lab on March 3 at the Medical Group Management Association’s (MGMA) PEER 2011 conference in National Harbor, Md. During the presentation, Johnston will explain complete data capture for outcomes measurement, the importance of standardized documentation for healthcare informatics, and the benefits of health outcomes measurement for patients and physicians.

“Information Technology platforms, such as iKnowMed, that support standardized documentation through the use of evidence-based guidelines and quality outcomes measurement will help community-based oncology practices effectively provide and quantitatively prove their delivery of value-based, high-quality patient care,” said Johnston. “Both of these are becoming increasingly important for Medicare and private payers as we search for a better healthcare system based on the quality of care, rather than the quantity of care.”

For more information on how iKnowMed can help oncology practices improve efficiencies and quality of care, read US Oncology’s white paper titled “iKnowMed Electronic Health Record (EHR) System Provides Comprehensive Data Capture for Outcomes Measurement.”

About US Oncology

US Oncology, Inc., a division of McKesson Corporation, is a leading integrated oncology company. By uniting one of the largest community-based cancer treatment and research networks in America, US Oncology expands patient access to high-quality care and advances the science of cancer care. Headquartered in The Woodlands, Texas, US Oncology is affiliated with 1,400 community-based oncologists, and works with patients, hospitals, payers, and the medical industry across all phases of the cancer research and delivery continuum. By promoting the use of innovative technology, clinical research, evidence-based medicine and shared best practices, US Oncology improves patient outcomes and offers a better patient experience. For more information, visit

About iKnowMed™

US Oncology leverages the innovation of iKnowMed™, a Web-based oncology-specific electronic health record (EHR) system designed by oncologists to enhance the patient experience and advance the science of cancer care. Developed in 1996 and acquired by US Oncology in 2004, iKnowMed goes beyond delivering standard EHR features by leveraging technology that helps physicians focus on clinical excellence and cost-effectiveness in community cancer care. With more than 940,000 patient records; 6,800 concurrent users; and nearly 1,000 provider users both inside and outside of the United Network of US Oncology, the system provides insight into quality patient care and serves as a decision support tool at the point of care by providing staging and diagnosis suggestions according to criteria from the American Joint Committee on Cancer (AJCC). The system also allows access to US Oncology’s Level I Pathways — evidence-based medicine — and screens new patients for potential clinical trial eligibility for open trials available at the practice. For more information call (866) 216-5053 or visit