Doctors looking at laptop

Oncology Moonshot

Sharing Patient Data Across Health Systems Can Save Time and Even Lives.

In a big healthcare network that includes hospitals, doctors, and labs, your electronic health record (EHR) can be quickly shared among all the people who are providing your care. But if you go to another healthcare network for treatment—whether across town or in another state—EHR records are much harder to share.

Employees writing on the Cancer Data Summit poster

In fact, you may have to email or hand deliver your files or X-rays to a new provider because the two networks can’t access or read each other’s data. This loss of time can be frustrating—especially if you’re facing a cancer diagnosis.

In creating our Oncology Moonshot, a team of doctors and health IT experts imagined an environment in which physicians, health systems, pharmacists, and researchers would all “speak the same language” via a data standard. Standards allow data to be shared more easily and improve data quality for better and more insightful decision making. That is, networks can quickly and efficiently share secure patient information needed to better coordinate patient care and accelerate both treatment and research.

Our goal: every interaction between a clinician and patient provides data that could be used to improve treatment for all future patients.

Getting it Right

We started with cancer care to prove that stakeholders could develop a broadly accepted EHR standard for oncology that would lead to improved treatment and research, including clinical trials. Our solution is nonproprietary, open source, and based on Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources (FHIR).

Thanks to the hard work of hundreds of organizations, the cancer community is now using this data standard, minimal Common Oncology Data Elements, or mCODE, to collect, share, and extract data from EHRs. A diverse research team is testing mCODE in numerous situations, not just in routine care, but to match more patients with clinical trials, quickly input patient data into cancer registries used by researchers, and obtain faster prior authorization for treatment.

MITRE Connects

At the heart of our progress is the community of stakeholders MITRE built to expand the use and impact of mCODE. We established CodeX™, a Health Level Seven (HL7) FHIR Accelerator, as a sustainable community to drive the use of real-world tested data standards.

This community supports the adoption of mCODE and drives sustained and scalable impact by engaging MITRE government sponsors and the broader healthcare community.

What’s next? MITRE and CodeX are collaborating with organizations interested in scaling our community approach beyond oncology into the areas of cardiovascular health and genomics.

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About MITRE Moonshots

MITRE Moonshots are high-risk, potentially disruptive research endeavors that require significant investment but can produce significant returns to the nation. Moonshots seek to fundamentally alter the nation’s technical capabilities and approaches to complex problems. We combine diverse expertise, perspectives, and resources by connecting partners in government, industry, academia, and other mission-driven organizations.  

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