Cancer Prevention and Screening a Mixed Bag in 2021

Suzanne Neve, RHIA, CTR - Director, Cancer Registry Oncology Leave a Comment

According to the American Cancer Society (ACS) estimates, 608,570 deaths will occur from cancer in the United States in 2021. About 45% are attributed to potentially preventable, pre-pandemic causes such as tobacco smoking, obesity, alcohol intake, physical inactivity, and an unhealthy diet. In the ACS report Cancer Prevention and Early Detection Facts & Figures,...

Life of a Tumor Registrar in a Small Community Hospital Setting

Cindy Zahn, MS Oncology 1 Comment

I am the sole tumor registrar at a small Commission on Cancer (CoC) accredited facility in the state of Vermont. I have been employed there for over five years. Because I am the only registrar, I am responsible for all the tasks that are involved in maintaining the tumor registry.  When I first started here, I worked 2.5 days at a hospital location and 2 days remotely...

What You Need to Know About Palliative Care in 2021

Suzanne Neve, RHIA, CTR - Director, Cancer Registry Oncology Leave a Comment

The purpose and intent of palliative care is often misunderstood. In 1990 the World Health Organization (WHO) recognized palliative care as a distinct medical specialty dedicated to relieving the suffering and improving the quality of life for patients with life-limiting illnesses, chronic disease, or serious injury. Despite its twenty-plus year history, many healthcare...

Spinal Cord Tumors: Reportable or Not?

Suzanne Neve, RHIA, CTR - Director, Cancer Registry Inpatient Coding Leave a Comment

Deciding whether a spinal cord tumor is reportable or not can be a daunting task for even experienced cancer registrars. The decision-making process used for correct case-finding must begin with an understanding of the anatomy, terms and definitions used, and how benign and malignant spinal cord tumors are classified.     Spinal cord tumors are defined by their position...

Oncology Studies Corrective Action Plans for Lasting Improvement

Suzanne Neve, RHIA, CTR - Director, Cancer Registry Oncology Leave a Comment

Corrective action is an aspect of quality management that focuses on rectifying a task, process, product, service, or individual behaviors when any of these factors produce errors, deviate from the original plan or benchmarks. Corrective actions can be thought of as an improvement an organization uses to eliminate undesirable or ineffective outcomes. In this seventh, and...

Oncology Quality Studies: Benchmarking Oncology Data

Suzanne Neve, RHIA, CTR - Director, Cancer Registry Oncology 1 Comment

In our sixth installment in this series on oncology quality studies we will look at the value, challenges, and recommendations for benchmarking oncology data.   Benchmarking is an excellent way to identify opportunities to enhance clinical practices, workflows, procedural efficiency, cost-effectiveness, utilization, and financial outcomes. There are many sources for...

Oncology Quality Studies: Prepare the Summary Analysis

Suzanne Neve, RHIA, CTR - Director, Cancer Registry Oncology Leave a Comment

In this fifth installment of our series on oncology quality studies we will discuss the preparation and writing of the summary analysis and study results. See links for parts 1-4 below.  Although there are no official content outlines for writing the final report, it is important to have a written document that states the project’s goals, lists the strategies used to...

Oncology Quality Studies: Study Conduct and Data Collection (Part 4)

Suzanne Neve, RHIA, CTR - Director, Cancer Registry Oncology Leave a Comment

In this fourth installment of our series on oncology quality studies we will talk about conducting the study according to the planned methodology or quality measures and how to organize the data collection process. The methodology is the roadmap, or strategy, that describes the way the study is to be conducted and identifies the methods to be used during the process. The...

Driving Data into the Future: NCRA Conference Overview

Suzanne Neve, RHIA, CTR - Director, Cancer Registry NCRA 1 Comment

On June 3 – 5, 2021 cancer registrars across the country came together for the National Cancer Registrar’s Association (NCRA) 47th Annual Educational Conference. This year’s event was held virtually and offered up to 29.25 continuing education (CE) hours featuring workshops and presentations from the standard-setting agencies and cancer registry community. Conference...

Oncology Quality Studies: Planning and Methodology (Part 3)

Suzanne Neve, RHIA, CTR - Director, Cancer Registry Oncology Leave a Comment

We have covered the first two steps in this multi-part series. In Step 1 we talked about assembling a team of experts to participate in the study project. In step 2 we identified the problem statement. Now, in Step 3 we will look how the study is conducted and the methodology used to structure the analysis.   Quality studies are, by intent, a process that is used to help...

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