Automating Patient Registries

A patient registry is a collection of anonymous standardized information about a group of patients, usually focused around a specific diagnosis, condition or intervention. Patient registries are an important resource for both clinicians and researchers, and can be used to monitor quality of care and treatment outcomes, benchmark performance, study best practices in health care delivery and supply data for research and innovation. Patients also benefit from registries, as they contribute to the development of treatment guidelines as well as facilitate research to improve treatment.

At Massachusetts General Hospital, many different registries are used to collect anonymous patient information for quality improvement and research. In many cases, registry participation is mandatory for regulatory and accreditation purposes. Because electronic medical records are not optimized for registry data collection by standard definitions, experienced registry abstractors spend a substantial amount of time manually searching through patient records to identify the correct data elements.

The Center for Outcomes & Patient Safety in Surgery (COMPASS) is exploring how to automate data collection for mandated surgical patient registries to collect data more efficiently, reduce administrative burden and ensure all stored data can be readily used across the system. Streamlining the registry data collection process allows hospital personnel to focus more time on utilizing data from registries to improve patient care.