How Pathology Labs Can Start Using Electronic Reporting

CDC’s National Program of Cancer Registries encourages laboratories to submit reportable cancer data directly to registries. Participating laboratories benefit from electronic pathology (ePath) reporting by—

Electronic Pathology Reporting Implementation Process

Pathology Laboratory
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    Expresses interest in electronic reporting.
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    Requirements for implementing electronic pathology reports using the NAACCR Volume V standard.
Guidance on Health Level 7 (HL7) Message
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    Development of HL7 v.2.5.1 observation report—unsolicited mode message.
Guidance on Secure Data Transport
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    Using PHINMS or another transport tool.
Testing and Validation of HL7 Message
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    Test data sent from laboratories to the registry, finalize the HL7 structure, and ensure that the filtering method used to pull cancer cases works properly.
State Cancer Registry
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    Several states compare the electronic files to paper pathology reports before the laboratory begins reporting to all state cancer registries.

Who to Contact to Get Started

  • If your laboratory serves residents in one state or territory, contact your central cancer registry.
  • If your laboratory serves residents in multiple states or territories, contact NPCR.

The following information will be helpful to assess your laboratory’s readiness to report cases electronically—

  • Laboratory information system (LIS).
  • Ability to report using HL7 2.5.1 with SPM segment.
  • Ability to assign an ICD-10-CM code to cancer cases.
  • Use of CAP electronic cancer checklists (eCC).
  • Estimated annual volume of cancer cases.
  • Ability to filter cancer cases by patient address (state of residence) or location of ordering provider/facility.
  • Ability to send batched reports and how often (daily, weekly, or monthly).
  • Do the patients you provide service to reside in one or multiple states?
Page last reviewed: February 6, 2020