An innovative Ft. Worth consulting firm comprised of experienced oncology professionals, Oncology Metrics, has linked private oncology practices throughout the country in a collaborative, knowledge-sharing enterprise, called the Oncology Circle. The first round of information brought together 22 practices containing 167 medical oncologists. Combined, the practices treated almost 63,000 patients annually, had $600 million in revenues and spent $375 million on drugs.
In a separate but related effort, Oncology Metrics has established a new national data aggregation effort, The Oncology Metrics National Index (OMNI), which brings together data from practices using electronic medical records (EMRs), mapping the data in each EMR to a standard template. Then those data are aggregated and mined to produce different cancer care-related clinical measures associated with procedures and processes: e.g., the administration of erythropoietin (anemia drugs), hemoglobin (Hgb) testing, and patient staging. A primary goal is to create a data mine that can allow each practice to see how it compares to others, and how they might improve. But a secondary and also very important objective is the development of transparency information that can help rationalize the practices and costs that have dominated oncology.
This is a leading edge project that leverages the data that is newly available through EMRs, and that is indicative of the kind of progress that we can anticipate throughout health care in the next few years. Clearly a company to watch.