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CCR at the Forefront of Enabling Interoperable Mechanisms of Data Exchange

The California Cancer Registry (CCR), a program of the California Department of Public Health (CDPH),  is at the forefront of enabling interoperable mechanisms of data exchange that are designed to improve the health care and outcomes of California cancer patients.  CDPH and CCR engages many national, state, and local groups to develop and deploy new data capture standards based upon existing and emerging Office of the National Coordinator (ONC) requirements.  The vision of CDPH and CCR goes well beyond the traditional role of cancer registries and, by design, includes directly impacting the care of cancer patients through improved access to interoperable, standardized, and structured data suitable for automated decision support, quality assessments, and research of many types. 

Free-Form Narrative Text vs Structured Data

The current and prevalent use of free-form narrative text by the cancer clinical and diagnostic community is arguably the single greatest barrier impeding progress relevant to the larger cancer health care community and the citizens of California.  CDPH and CCR have begun a vital shift in pathology and clinical cancer reporting from unstructured, unstandardized, and narrative text data capture to one of standardized and structured data capture.

CCR is currently in the second phase of a three phase effort to integrate structured pathology data from 15 reporting facilities across four health care systems. CCR has a long-term vision to incorporate all reporting facilities in some form of structured data capture for pathology. The real-time linkage and consolidation of patient diagnosis data from a structured pathology report by CCR is the first example in the U.S. by a Central Cancer Registry.


Meaningful Use Physician Reporting to Public Health (PRPH)

CDPH and CCR have also implemented a program for accepting Meaningful Use PRPH documents between provider Electronic Health Records (EHRs) and CCR.  The Meaningful Use PRPH documents hold a wealth of critical patient data. These new interoperable data services have allowed CCR to operate as a hub for aggregating cancer patient data.  This hub has created a patient-centric resource, which supports the vision of secure distribution of patient summaries. 

The vision and long-term goals of CDPH and CCR extend to the improvement of patient care by leveraging interoperable technology.  In particular, CCR innovations will enable a number of health care systems to exchange interoperable standardized cancer data in ways that have previously been impossible. Data will flow centrally to CCR, and also in a point to point manner between any pair of participating organizations.  The CCR aggregated data set will also support the enabling of the ONC Blue-Button functionality, while providing patients and providers the ability to securely obtain a structured cancer summary document. The advancement of technology, and more specifically the CDPH and CCR systems themselves, has led to a realistic and tangible view of health system interoperability. CCR intends to continue to leverage the aggregated cancer data set to benefit and help manage transitions of care and the development of accurate, real-time patient summaries for use by health professionals as well as by patients directly. Of the greatest importance to CDPH and CCR is the fact that our organization has proven that the California public health system can play an integral part in assisting and better meeting the current and future health care needs of all Californians.



CCR is committed to leveraging ONC supported technical profiles and technology. The technology will promote interoperability throughout California and will provide for improved integration with CCR partners, lead to increased efficiency in CCR surveillance and research, and improve communication between CCR and the public.


Contact Us

Jeremy Pine
ePath Project Manager
California Cancer Registry
1625 Alhambra Blvd., Suite 200
Sacramento, CA 95816
P: 916- 731-2500 F: 916-454-1538