According to Dr. Weber, the data collected by Regent will come from critical data elements captured for and generated by general otolaryngology and each subspecialty within the field. It is anticipated that these data will be electronically extracted from the providers’ electronic medical records, he said.
Dr. Weber, who is leading the development of the practice improvement module for head and neck surgery, cited the example of capturing the critical data elements that relate to taking care of patients with head and neck tumors. “These data will include outcome measures and quality measures collected across a large group of patients with different types of head and neck cancers and will be risk adjusted,” he said.
Using the established measures of quality, physicians will then enter data on their patients’ outcomes electronically into the database and will be able to see how the outcomes of their patients compare to those of other physicians treating the same type of condition. For example, Dr. Weber said that one quality measure used in treating patients with head and neck cancer is determining whether physicians ask their patients about smoking history and whether they refer all patients who do smoke to resources to help them quit. “If a physician falls below 90% referral of patients for smoking cessation, the physician would want to implement some practice changes that would help him or her meet the quality standard of 90% or greater,” he said, adding that this may take the form of, for example, an intake nurse asking patients about smoking and incorporating an automatic trigger for a referral for patients who do smoke to the appropriate treatment resource.