Data from Rochester RHIO are playing a major role in assisting the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in gauging the impact of HPV vaccinations.
Through a CDC-sponsored project with the Center for Community Health and Prevention of the University of Rochester, Rochester RHIO provided anonymized clinical information from around the region in regard to cervical cancer screenings and trends.
This precise utilization data, as well as data from California, Connecticut, Oregon and Tennessee, are shared for the HPV Vaccine Impact Monitoring Project, which monitors the incidence of precancerous cervical lesions and cervical cancer. Screening data are essential to interpret the trends in incidence.
RHIO-provided cervical screening data covering 2008-14 are used to better understand trends, including changes in the percentage of women screened, implications for specific age groups and overall test outcomes. This helps determine whether decreases in incidence are due to vaccine use or decreases in detection.
The CDC reported the latest data at the international papillomavirus conference in Cape Town, South Africa, in 2017. A more detailed paper is in development, as well as initial analysis of updated data through 2016. This study is the only population-based study of the impact of HPV vaccine on cervical cancer and its precursors.
“As a result of our partnership with the Rochester RHIO, we are able to determine how often women are screened for cervical cancer in our community,” said Nancy Bennett, director of the Center for Community Health and Prevention. “By knowing how much screening rates have decreased, we can determine what portion of the drop in disease we see is due to less screening and what part is due to the increase in HPV vaccination. We are the only community in the study that can directly measure screening, and that is due to the quality and availability of the RHIO data.”
“Community health information exchanges such as the Rochester RHIO play a critical role in identifying public health trends that impact millions of people across the country and right here at home,” said Jill Eisenstein, president and CEO of Rochester RHIO. “The data we are providing HPV-IMPACT has been called the ‘gold standard’ for assessing screening rates for this initiative, helping public health to better understand the impact of a critical public health intervention to prevent this devastating disease.”
Members of the HPV-IMPACT team include Mary Scahill, health project coordinator, emerging infections program, and Christina Felsen, emerging infections program co-director, at the Center for Community Health and Prevention, University of Rochester Medical Center. Sara Abrams is the health researcher and technical project manager for the project at Rochester RHIO.