News from NCRA: Clinical Perspective- Data Enhancement


Marketing Manager

NCRA 2015 was filled with many afternoon plenary sessions to choose from including mentoring, recruiting, AJCC, COC survey and how to use social media professionally to name a few.  As we begin to wrap up the 2014 data year and begin 2015 cases, one presentation on “Data Enhancement” brought helpful reminders to registrars.

The presenter discussed most coding errors could be attributed back to four specific coding concepts

  1. Combination histology codes
  2. Grade rules
  3. Multiple primaries
  4. Cross Application of Rules – applying reportability rules to code CS involvement

As a CTR we have many resources and manuals to help us with the proper code selection to answering questions…SEER, CAnswer Forum, FORDS, Collaborative Staging, etc.  It is important we don’t cross over the rules from one and apply to another.

A suggestion was given to capture the M and H rule used to determine single or multiple primary as well as the histology within text.  This allows others including the State understand a CTRs decision for coding.  Also at the end of an abstract go back and visually edit the case…is the primary site correct, histology and grade based on the text entered?  Are the CS fields coded correctly based on pathology and imaging information?   Check the treatment coding compared to text entered.  If no treatment was given, enter NA or None vs. leaving blank.  This lets your State registry know you did not forget to document and the treatment was researched and entered.  Text is not only important to your State registry but to any person using the data.  Review entered text and make sure it makes sense.  Use approved abbreviations.

The presentation recommended performing internal quality audits by reviewing specific data items and sharing the results with the registry and administration.  Everyone benefits from explanations of the rules and the process creates learning opportunities.  Audits provide a picture of your registry’s quality and completeness.  The presenter concluded with “Begin by reviewing just 1% of your cases.  A continued 1% increase in quality today will substantially improve quality over time”.