Utility of Using Cancer Registry Data to Identify Patients for Tobacco Treatment Trials
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Utility of Using Cancer Registry Data to Identify Patients for Tobacco Treatment Trials

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    J Registry Manag. 46(2):30-36
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  • Alternative Title:
    J Registry Manag
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    Background: Many tobacco dependent cancer survivors continue to smoke after diagnosis and treatment. This study investigated the extent to which hospital-based cancer registries could be used to identify smokers in order to offer them assistance in quitting. The concordance of tobacco use coded in the registry was compared with tobacco use as coded in the accompanying Electronic Health Records (EHRs). Methods: We gathered data from three hospital-based cancer registries in New York City during June 2014 to December 2016. For each patient identified as a current combustible tobacco user in the cancer registries, we abstracted tobacco use data from their EHR to independently code and corroborate smoking status. We calculated the proportion of current smokers, former smokers, and never smokers as indicated in the EHR for the hospitals, cancer site, cancer stage, and sex. We used a logistic regression model to estimate the log odds of the registry-based smoking status correctly predicting the EHR-based smoking status. Results: Agreement in current smoking status between the registry-based smoking status and the EHR-based smoking status was 65%, 71%, and 90% at the three participating hospitals. Logistic regression results indicated that agreement in smoking status between the registry and the EHRs varied by hospital, cancer type, and stage, but not by age and sex. Conclusions: The utility of using tobacco use data in cancer registries for population-based tobacco treatment interventions is dependent on multiple factors including accurate entry into EHR systems, updated data, and consistent smoking status definitions and registry coding protocols. Our study found that accuracy varied across the three hospitals and may not be able to inform interventions at these hospitals at this time. Several changes may be needed to improve the coding of tobacco use status in EHRs and registries.
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