Cancer - Promoting Interoperability

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The Washington State Department of Health supports submission of cancer data from eligible professionals (EPs) under promoting interoperability (previously called meaningful use). Providers who choose cancer reporting as their public health option must complete the registration and onboarding process, and demonstrate ongoing submission.

The Department of Health maintains a statewide cancer registry with data submitted by providers and other health care facilities across the state. We anticipate that the expansion of cancer reporting through promoting interoperability will improve the ability of local, state, and national public health agencies to monitor and improve the health of Washington State.

Information for Eligible Professionals

The Department of Health accepts electronic submission of cancer data from eligible providers and facilities. Providers interested in pursuing the cancer registry promoting interobperability objective may work through the onboarding process below.

The department is prioritizing electronic submission of cancer registry data from eligible providers that diagnose and/or treat cancer.

Onboarding Process

Step 1. Registration

If you are an eligible provider interested in submitting cancer registry data to public health, you must complete a registration of intent.

Step 2. Pretesting

Note: Pretesting of messages using the NIST Cancer Registry Reporting Validation Tool is recommended, not required. Pretesting DOES NOT suffice as testing for meaningful use. You must complete step 3: Connectivity and Testing to receive credit for testing with public health.

This guide serves as a reference for ambulatory healthcare providers. The National Program of Cancer Registries, Surveillance, Epidemiology and End Results, and the North American Association for Central Cancer Registries have developed this guide for transmission of cancer patient information from ambulatory healthcare providers to the central cancer registry.

Read the Quick Start Guide (PowerPoint) for guidance in using this tool. The tool validates CDA messages created by Certified Electronic Health Record Technology (CEHRT) against the basic structure defined by the Implementation Guide for Ambulatory Healthcare Provider Reporting to Central Cancer Registries. Upon submission to public health, your message's structure and content will be validated against the standard.

Step 3. Connectivity and Testing


For Medicaid-eligible providers, the state Health Information Exchange (HIE) is the only accepted method of transport for ongoing submission of promoting interoperabiltiy messages. All other providers may use either the state HIE or the Public Health Information Network Messaging System (PHINMS).


Submit your error-free test messages to public health using the approved transport mechanism. These test messages must be generated from your EHR; public health does not accept “sample” messages generated by vendors for provider use. Successfully submitted messages automatically place providers in the queue where they will be invited by Department of Health staff to move on once their messages pass validation.

At this time the Washington State Cancer Registry is inviting all eligible providers to onboard and test. Priority will be given to facilities and providers who specialize in diagnosing and treating cancer or see a high volume of cancer patients.

Step 4. Validation

You must participate in validation activities as required by the agency. Once you have established a data feed to the Department of Health, the department will communicate errors to the data provider so they can be addressed. All errors or missing values must be corrected before a provider can move to ongoing submission in step 5, Production.

Step 5. Production

Once an eligible provider has completed the validation step of the onboarding process, they will receive an acknowledgement of their success and be placed into production status.

Eligible professionals will be required to participate in periodic quality assurance checks to ensure accuracy of reporting. Department of Health staff will contact data providers to schedule these activities.

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