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Rome's medical community to participate in study of lung


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Bill Todd, president and CEO of Georgia Cancer Coalition, talks during a press conference at Harbin Clinic today. (Ryan Smith / RN-T)

Click here to view video of the press conference.

Rome's medical community will participate in an 18-month study to determine the quality of cancer care here, with the focus on lung cancer.

The initiative was announced this morning during a press conference at Harbin Clinic that also included the Georgia Cancer Coalition, Floyd Medical Center and Redmond Regional Medical Center.

With the help of a $250,000 grant, the medical community will track 52 cancer indicators through the pilot program.

The effort is focusing on lung cancer because of relatively high rates in the region, according to the Georgia Cancer Coalition.

The Georgia Cancer Quality Information Exchange has the potential of becoming the first statewide evidence-based cancer quality measurement program in the country.

“We are very impressed with the level of collaboration and joint development of initiatives in Rome,” says Coalition President and CEO Bill Todd. “Our goal for The Exchange is to work together with many stakeholders, and the cooperative effort in Rome allows us to determine how community-wide implementation can work.”

The Cancer Registries at Harbin, Floyd and Redmond already work together on a routine basis; they share a Cancer Committee and have standardized policies and procedures.

“All partners have made a significant investment of resources and expertise to become a demonstration site,” says Todd. “Their role in facilitating the design, access and retrieval of clinical information and public health data will play a critical role in The Exchange.”

Tom Fricks, chief information officer for Harbin Clinic, has been named the project executive and Dr. Matthew Mumber, a radiation oncologist, is the physician executive.

They are leading a committee that is currently designing a plan to gather data on metrics specific to lung cancer as well as other metrics that apply to all types of cancer.

“Northwest Georgia is a microcosm of the state of Georgia. We have a multi-specialty physician practice and a not- for-profit and for-profit hospital," Mumber said "The implementation of electronic medical record keeping is at various stages in the three facilities, so the gathering of data will require alternative approaches. With a high level of collaboration, we believe that we can demonstrate results that other regions of Georgia can replicate.”

The Georgia Cancer Coalition is currently exploring the possibility of additional demonstration projects throughout the state, adding to the breast and lung cancer focus with pilot projects on colorectal and prostate cancer.

See Thursday's Rome News-Tribune for complete story.

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