7 Signs Your Cancer Registry is Performing Well

The cancer registry network is a powerful resource in oncology healthcare. The connections and relationships with members of the cancer care team are a valuable source of knowledge and provide many opportunities for resource-sharing and growth. The cancer registry should never be maintained solely for the purpose of meeting minimum reporting requirements. Instead, it should be a vital part of the facility’s cancer delivery system and be in alignment with the strategic plan and mission.

For a more in depth review of your cancer registry, download MRA’s Registry Wellness Checklist here

Here are seven signs that your cancer registry is performing well.

  1. Timely Reporting

Cancer registry is meeting all data submissions and reporting requirements on, or before, the established deadline.


  1. Credentialed Staff

All staff who perform case abstracting maintain current certified tumor registrar (CTR) credentials and annual professional education requirements.


  1. Industry Updates and Changes are Implemented

All registry staff are staying abreast of the current data collection and reporting standards for all appropriate standard-setting agencies and relevant evidence-based guidelines.


  1. Registry Staff Have Access to Health Information

The cancer registry staff have been given access to all relevant, paper-based, and electronic medical record charts and systems including any health information exchange (HIE) systems used by the facility.


  1. Equipment and Technology is Current

The registry computers, devices, and software meet, or exceed, the minimum requirements established by the facility or the cancer data management software vendor(s). Your facility’s IT department can help you with establishing a timeline for replacing computers and other devices. If you are an independent contractor or are responsible for your own equipment you should plan on updating hardware and software approximately every three 3 years.


  1. Quality Control is Routinely Monitored

There are written policies and procedures in place that describe the cancer registry quality control processes and minimum benchmarks. Audits are routinely conducted and shared at least with the cancer registry team on all registry data collection functions including case finding, abstracting, staging, use of unknowns, follow-up and other relevant data fields or codes in the cancer registry data management system. Accuracy and completeness are also measured and monitored in accordance with the standard-setting agency guidelines.  


  1. Registry is Integrated with the Strategic Plan

The cancer registry participates, with other oncology departments and services, in the development of the strategic plan, vision and mission of the cancer program. The registry aligns their department processes and goals with the facility’s strategic plan to ensure they are adding value to the healthcare delivery process.  


In summary, the cancer registry’s success depends on its greatest asset, the cancer data. If you are not routinely monitoring the registry processes and looking for red flags you could find your operations falling behind or not delivery value-added service. By establishing benchmarks, monitoring, and measuring the outcomes you will be a better position to identify a gap and act quickly.  


Use our Cancer Registry Wellness Checklist to review the performance of your registry. Click here to download. 

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AHIMA Approved

This program has been approved for continuing education unit(s) (CEUs) for use in fulfilling the continuing education requirements of the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA). Granting of Approved CEUs from AHIMA does not constitute endorsement of the program content or its program provider.