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Creating an Effective Home Office Setup for Cancer Registrars

Blog Effective Home Office for Cancer Registrars

Three to four years ago, the idea of working from home was limited and against the norm for most employees. During the Covid-19 pandemic, many employees began to work from home, outside the company office. For the majority of cancer registrars, this was already the new norm, and the pandemic required little changes to their daily life. Many employees who have been assigned remote work are unaware of the new daily obstacles and choices they must confront when working from their homes. Some of these challenges included setting up a home office, choosing the furniture or office equipment needed or required, child care, security, and much more.

One of the major predicaments that employees were suddenly confronted with during the swift transition to remote work was the decision of choosing a suitable location within their home to work from. Determining a location within an active home is not always easy. Suddenly the family dinner table has become a new desk, and the walk-in closet was turned into a new office. While not always easy, it is crucial to locate a suitable spot for a home office to ensure a peaceful work environment that is free from the regular household commotion and familiar distractions. 

MRA cancer registrar employee working from her home office

In the National Cancer Registrar Association’s (NCRA) webinar titled, “Remote Working: The New Normal,” it was suggested that cancer registrars can establish a structured routine when working remotely by designating a specific area for their workspace. This approach can effectively eliminate needless distractions, enable families to acknowledge when the registrar is working, and assist in setting clear boundaries.

With the sudden increase in the number of remote workers during the pandemic, companies began to see a rise in the sales of office supplies, furniture, and office equipment to help make an employee’s life more comfortable while working from home. One important, if not the most important piece of office furniture is a “comfortable chair.” Most remote jobs require a lot of sitting, and it is important to choose a very ergonomic desk chair. The desk has emerged as a complex piece of furniture in modern home offices, with a wide range of designs and styles catering to the needs of employees who opt to either sit or stand or even exercise while working. Regardless of personal preferences, it’s important to remember that the desk is your own space, and it can be customized to suit individual tastes.

The setup and design of home offices are very important, especially to those involved with cancer registry solutions. HIPAA regulations not only play a vital role of maintaining the patient’s confidentiality but also in the setup of a home office for the cancer registrar. When designing the space, not only is the functionality of the space or location important, but also the security and sensitivity of the workload that one is working on. The location of the office should be in a safe and private area of the home and away from others to protect the patient’s confidentiality. When setting up a desk it is important to face the computer monitors away from any window and “in a direction that is not visible to others.” A cancer registrar must always remember to lock their computer when they walk away from their desk and not print out any information that may include a patient’s personal information. A cancer registrar must treat their home office the same way they would their office inside of a hospital.

Additional information to think about when setting up a home office is setting up a schedule for when you will work. Remember to set time aside for yourself throughout the day and take your breaks, get up to stretch and move around, or go for a nice walk outside, and don’t forget to eat a healthy lunch! Remember, you worked hard to get where you are as a cancer registrar and you deserve it, so get up every morning, get dressed for work, make that pot of coffee, and enjoy your new home office.


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