Cancer Registrar Essay Example
Cancer Registrar Essay Example

Cancer Registrar Essay Example

Available Only on StudyHippo
  • Pages: 4 (992 words)
  • Published: April 22, 2018
  • Type: Essay
View Entire Sample
Text preview

Individuals interested in the field of health information technology (HIT) are presented with a vast array of HIT related jobs and professions to choose from, many of which are highly specialized, such as the certified tumor registrar (CTR). A cancer registry is a compilation of all cancer related data on all cancer patients, including their demographics, medical histories, diagnostic findings, and follow up assessments.

This information provides health care professionals with the necessary data and tools to successfully develop, implement, assess and evaluate current and future treatments and therapies for the overall goal of preventing and controlling cancer (NCRA, 2002). The registry is also a key tool in providing necessary data to present statistical analysis regarding prevalence, success rates, morbidity and mortality rates for each type of cancer and is critical in aiding in research for etiology and preventi


on (German et al. , 2008).

Roles and Responsibilities

The main responsibility of the cancer registrar is to collect, analyze, maintain, and organize accurate and uniform information on patients with cancerous conditions. This data is entered into the local, state, and national level databases for various healthcare agencies (DegreeFinder, 2009). The cancer registrar may be required to extract needed information as requested by healthcare providers to assist in patient care or research. Requiring intense attention to detail, the cancer registrar must be able to identify cancer cases and abstract significant information from patient records to be entered into the registry through coding.

To do so, the cancer registrar must possess the medical knowledge and education needed to examine patient records, pathology reports, treatments, and interventions related to the various types of cancers and then accurately allocat

View entire sample
Join StudyHippo to see entire essay

a specific code for the diagnosis and treatments that adheres to national coding standards (Mariani, 2004). Once cases have been entered into the registry, an important role for the cancer registrar is the annual follow-up procedure for submitted cases (Gater, 2008).

Cancer patients usually have a team of doctors that they regularly visit throughout their treatment, and they may visit several different facilities.

In order to collect and maintain overall precise and current information for each case, it is necessary for the cancer registrar to do follow-up by contacting the patient’s doctors and even the patient himself to assess and update their current medical data. Cancer registrars may have additional roles, such as participation in active leadership in health based programs, such as community cancer and benefits programs, monitoring adverse outcomes, and providing registry management and standards consultative services (NCRA, 2002).

Educational requirements and Certifications In the past, cancer registrars typically received on-the-job training. However, with advancement in information technology and the dynamic field of research and data related to the field of cancer, it is mandatory that cancer registrars receive education and training.

At minimum, one should receive an associate degree in a related field of study, which includes cancer data management, in addition to, medical terminology, anatomy and physiology, epidemiology, database record management, and biostatistics (NCRA, 2002).

The National Cancer Registrar’s Association (NCRA, 2002) administers a certification exam one must complete successfully in order to possess a certified tumor registrar (CTR) credential. To be eligible for this exam, one must have fulfilled the educational requirements as set by the NCRA, which includes training in the cancer registry field. The NCRA website has a

list of accredited programs for becoming a CTR (NCRA, 2002). Those who are currently employed in the Health Information Management field are considered adequately trained in order to easily transition into the cancer registry field with minimal additional training (CDC, 2007).

The American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA) has partnered with the NCRA to develop a Cancer Registry Management (CRM) program that can be completed in order to be eligible to sit for the CTR exam. Registered Health Information Administrators (RHIA) and Registered Health Information Technicians (RHIT) have already completed the prerequisites for the CRM program and may advance directly to the specialty courses, which take 15 weeks each to complete (AHIMA, 2009).

In order to maintain certification status in the continually advancing field of cancer, the CTR must regularly undergo continuing education (NCRA, 2002). Work Settings Cancer registrars can find opportunities for careers in a diverse group of settings,. According to the NCRA, more than 50 percent of cancer registrars are employed in hospitals. Due to the advancement of information technology, the remaining half find themselves in various work environments, such as state central cancer registry, consulting companies, vendors, education programs, private practices, and national standard setting organizations (Cassidy, 2009).

Cancer registrars are increasingly finding opportunities in government agencies, insurance firms, and various health care facilities that are continually increasing in number. As the need for cancer registry consultants arises for software vendors, it is no surprise that job growth is currently expanding into this arena as well (Cassidy, 2009). The NCRA (2002) states that, “Cancer registrars who possess management and administrative skills, knowledge of medical sciences, programming, database management, data retrieval and analysis

will find a ready market for those skills. ” Salary Range and Job Outlook

As of December 2009, the annual salary of cancer registrars in the 50th percentile ranged from $37,619 to $47,291, with those in the top 10th percentile earning more than $52,028 (DegreeFinder, 2009). As the nation witnesses an increase in cancer prevalence and average life spans, it is expected that there will be a tremendously rapid growth in the need for cancer registrars in years to come. In addition, the widespread use of electronic medical records (EMRs) and the increase in the number of rising health care facilities and organizations across the country will skyrocket job growth and opportunities for CTR’s.

It is estimated that by 2016, the need for cancer registrars will have increased by 18% since 2006 (DegreeFinder, 2009). With advancing technology and cancer related research and discoveries, there will be an even higher demand for certified cancer registrars that have advanced and specialized training and credentials to efficiently perform the demands of this dynamic field. References American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA) (2009). Cancer Registry Management. Chicago, IL: AHIMA. Cassidy, T.

(2009). Needed: Cancer registrars in various work settings.

Get an explanation on any task
Get unstuck with the help of our AI assistant in seconds