The Start of MelCOR
The Melanoma Clinical Outcomes Registry (MelCOR) was originally conceived at a meeting of 36 melanoma special interest groups from around Australia. Meeting participants identified a gap in population level data that was already collected by State-based cancer registries, in that it was not possible to measure quality of care or benchmark compliance with best practice across Australia. The group formed a collective Federation. It was suggested a melanoma clinical quality registry (CQR) be established. MelCOR represents an initiative to fill that gap, allowing for a broad scale understanding of the quality of care for patients diagnosed with early melanoma across Australia.
Cutaneous melanoma is an aggressive and dangerous form of skin cancer. In Australia, there are an estimated 15,000 new patients diagnosed with melanoma annually, with an economic impact of greater than $200 Million per year. As melanoma has a 90% 5 year survival rate due to a large number of thin, good prognosis melanomas that are resected, the impact of initial treatment on more advanced melanomas and how this relates to long term patient outcomes are difficult to ascertain. While evidence based guidelines for melanoma have been developed by expert groups (Cancer Council Australia), there is no current approach in Australia to systematically monitor compliance with these best practice guidelines.
Clinical Quality Registries
A clinical quality registry (CQR) aims to “collect longitudinal health outcome data for the entire eligible population of the clinical domain” in order to monitor the quality of healthcare. Using the entire available population as a data source, broad information regarding quality of care, adherence to best practice guidelines and resulting long-term outcomes can be determined. A CQR produces regular reports to feed back quality of care information to individual health services and clinicians with the aim of improving quality of care, for individuals and the population in general.