eMaRC Plus

At a glance

eMaRC Plus processes HL7 files from pathology laboratories, and reports in HL7 CDA format from physician offices.


Electronic Mapping, Reporting, and Coding (eMaRC) Plus was initially developed to receive and process Health Level Seven (HL7) files from anatomic pathology laboratories. In 2010, CDC expanded the functionality of eMaRC Plus to receive and process reports from physician offices in an HL7 Clinical Document Architecture (CDA) format in accordance with the Meaningful Use Stage 2 and Stage 3 Implementation Guides. This functionality is a separate Physician Reporting module within eMaRC Plus.

Clients should not make any changes (additions, modifications, deletions) to the database schema objects without written approval from CDC. This includes adding triggers, which can lead to performance issues within the application and can cause errors that are hard to trace. If you are interested in making changes to database tables, please contact the Registry Plus team.

ePath Reporting Module

The eMaRC Plus ePath Reporting Module:

  • Imports HL7 2.3.1, HL7 2.5.1 (narrative or synoptic reports) and North American Association of Central Cancer Registries (NAACCR) pipe-delimited files manually or directly from the Public Health Information Network Messaging System (PHINMS) queue.
  • Makes sure the files contain the required data items and parses HL7 messages.
  • Builds a pathology laboratory database and stores various HL7 data elements as discrete field values in tables in the database.
  • Creates NAACCR-formatted abstract records from pathology reports during import into the pathology laboratory database.
  • Searches a terms table to find potential reports of cancer, using the negation terms finder (NegEx) to enhance its text mining capabilities.
  • Shows the pathology text report and a generated abstract side by side, allowing the user to complete any missing information in the abstract.
  • Maps and autopopulates the abstract with data received in the pathology report.
  • Uses text mining functionality to identify the histology, primary site, behavior, laterality, and grade.
  • Allows users to override any automated decisions about reportability and coding.

Physician Reporting Module

The eMaRC Plus Physician Reporting Module:

  • Imports CDA files manually or directly from a folder or the PHINMS queue.
  • Parses and displays the data elements.
  • Stores all data elements extracted from the physician CDA document into relational tables.
  • Maps and, if needed, translates the HL7 data elements to NAACCR data elements, creating NAACCR-formatted abstract records from physician reports during import.
  • Automatically merges multiple physician reports for the same patient and tumor from the same facility using data item consolidation directives.
  • Creates separate abstracts from a single CDA document with more than one cancer diagnosis entry.
  • Provides a default abstract display type that is configurable for users to select fields to display and set defaults.

To obtain a copy of the most recent version of eMaRC Plus, send a request.

Selected features in version 10

ePath Reporting Module

For Version 10, CDC:

  • Integrated the NAACCR version 23 implementation guidelines.
  • Updated the search terms.
  • Updated the College of American Pathologists electronic cancer checklist (eCC) autocoding tables.
  • Updated the default values for handled site-specific data items (SSDI). Users can now set the default value for SSDI fields to blank, populated based on the dynamic link library for TNM staging, or populated with codes appropriate for non-staging purposes.
  • Implemented functions associated with NAACCR Volume V and its XML data dictionary.
  • Implemented and revised functionality related to the specimen (SPM) segment.
  • Updated term tables for brain, pre- and post-negation, and heme.

Physician Reporting Module

For Version 10, CDC:

  • Integrated the NAACCR version 23 implementation guidelines.
  • Resolved a bug that caused multiple last names in the CDA message to map to Unknown in the NAACCR abstract.