Have you heard the phrase, “Garbage In Garbage Out?”
As Consultants, we are often asked by prospective and current clients, “How do I use the cancer registry data?” “How do I know it has any value?” “Do you ensure its integrity?” When asked to review a new clients’ data base our first step is to use our standard QC Data Reports to pull out key fields that are often miss-coded with a wrong code or the “famous code” of unknown. Many facilities ask us to re-abstract a few cases to ensure their CTRs are following all the coding rules from the standard setters. This re-abstraction will also allow us to identify if training is needed or, in some cases, corrections are required before any data reports will be considered valid. Our CTRs have experience evaluating data bases and spending time remotely mentoring CTRs to provide quality abstracts. CTRs are dedicated and conscientious, but they might not know what they don’t know. That is when Registry Partners Incorporated can have a positive impact.
For existing clients and those for whom we perform case abstraction, we follow the same processes but on a smaller scale to ensure our CTRs are up to date on the ever-changing coding rules and clinical changes in the treatment of cancer sites. Though we all complain that just about when we can master all of the coding scenarios, something changes! As potential cancer patients, we must be mindful that when cancer care is changing – the potential for cancer care for ourselves or our loved ones will be better.