Driving Data into the Future: NCRA Conference Overview

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 attendees may continue to access the on-demand sessions and claim CE credits for sessions not yet attended through July 31, 2021.

Dr. C. Jimmy Lin, founder and CEO of the Rare Genomics Institute launched the three-day event on Thursday, June 3rd with a timely keynote address titled “The Promise of Diagnostics on Cancer Detection, Therapy Selection, and Monitoring.” This was followed by plenary sessions with speakers from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), Commission on Cancer (CoC), American Joint Committee on Cancer (AJCC), North American Association of Central Cancer Registries (NAACCR) and Surveillance, Epidemiology and End Results (SEER) standard-setting agencies. The first day of the conference concluded with a new CTR recognition ceremony honoring all new CTRs who passed the certification exam in 2019 and 2020.

Friday, June 4th and Day Two of the conference got underway with another series of plenary sessions with speakers from the CDC-NPCR, NCI-SEER, ACoS-AJCC, NAACCR and American Cancer Society in the morning. After a short break in the Exhibit Hall attendees returned for three in-depth sessions on coding, staging, and abstracting of hematopoietic, cervical and bladder cancer sites. The last three sessions were offered as Category A credit hours needed for re-certification each two-year cycle period.

Day 3, Saturday, June 5th, and the final day of the conference kicked off with the announcement of the Basket Raffle Winners and multiple breakout sessions in four tracks: Central Registry, CoC Programs, Hospital and Registry Management. Registrars picked up tips and valuable information from their peers in these sessions on how to improve and enhance data quality, productivity, workflow optimization and cancer program collaboration.

During each break participants had the option of visiting the poster sessions, meeting virtually with the vendors in the exhibit hall or taking advantage of a short yoga and guided meditation to stretch and re-charge. Two informal roundtable sessions were hosted by the NCRA Mentoring Committee, and a New Member Roundtable was available to new CTRs or NCRA members attending the conference for the first time.

The conference portal offered other information and options to attendees including the State Association Basket Raffle, a virtual scavenger hunt, the NCRA Job board and a link to the online NCRA Store. Attendees were encouraged to connect with their peers online and were able to interact live with the speakers in the Q&A portion that followed each presentation.

Feedback from the attendees was excellent and while some like the virtual environment there are also many Registrars who are looking forward to attending the annual conference in person on April 6-9, 2022, in Washington, D.C.

As with all NCRA annual conferences there is a vast amount of information exchanged during the sessions that will undoubtedly be used to enhance and grow registry services and cancer surveillance in the months to come. NCRA members want to thank Lori Swain, Administrative Director, the entire NCRA administrative team and the 2021 Program Committee for hosting this year’s event!

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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.