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Cancer Registry Gathers Patient Data

Cancer Registry
Jim Dabbelt and Amy Yoder review
data for UVMC Cancer Registry.

Although the Cancer Registry at UVMC rarely receives attention, its work plays a key role in what goes on at the Cancer Care Center, and beyond.

Registry employees Jim Dabbelt, RHIT, and Amy Yoder, HIT, work to compile information on cancer patient diagnosis and treatment in a data base for use in local, state and national statistics and program development.

More than 150 pieces of information such as patient demographics; tumor size, location and stage at time of diagnosis; surgery; radiation; and chemotherapy is recorded, Dabbelt said.

Once a month, information is submitted to the state for the Ohio Cancer Incidence Surveillance System (OCISS).  Once a year, data is sent to the National Cancer Data Base (NCDB).

The Registry staff also is responsible for follow ups on patients. One and five-year report information is recorded.

“The importance of the follow up is to find where the patient is now,” Dabbelt said. The register employee’s role can include part investigator, such as calling other providers to track down missing information, he said.

The names and identities of those whose cases are included in the registry are not revealed. Cases are coded by number and diagnosis for privacy purposes.

The Cancer Registry complements UVMC’s overall cancer care program, said Jean Heath, Cancer Care Center director.

“You really can’t have a center without a registry because that information helps us plan for the prevention and early detection of all cancers,” Heath said.

Data gathered locally and nationally for the NCDB helps identify areas where more focus on a certain type of cancer may be beneficial. 

Reviewing local data with state and national data helps the local community hospital see how it is doing when it comes to diagnosis, treatment, prevention and early detection of specific cancers.

“It is through the registry data that we are able to maybe change the way that we practice through evidence- based practice,” Heath said.

The data also can be searched, for example by zip code, to see if there is more of one type of cancer in an area than in others nearby.  “We can then drill down to find maybe a cause or a relationship with this cancer and this area,” Heath said.

The Cancer Registry staff also coordinates the UVMC bimonthly cancer conference, also known as the Tumor Board. This board offers a multi-disciplinary review of cases and allows physicians to discuss details of cases they have seen. In addition, a monthly Physicians Cancer Conference allows physicians and others directly involved with a patient to discuss cases in more detail.

For more information on the Cancer Registry and the UVMC Cancer Care Center, call (937) 440-4820.

Content Updated: November 19, 2014

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