The American Cancer Society reports that in 2010 more than 1,500 people each day will die of cancer. It is the second most common cause of death and accounts for nearly 1 of every 4 deaths in the United States. Cancer Registrars are the cancer data management experts that review the medical records and code, classify and enter disease related data into highly specialized databases used to study cancer treatment methods, outcomes and survival.
Healthcare is rapidly evolving to take advantage of scientific and clinical breakthroughs that enable physicians to diagnose and treat cancer patients using the latest technology to deliver the best quality of life or achieve the best possible outcomes. Cancer Registrars collaborate with the healthcare team to make this possible. While cancer registrars are familiar with changes in reporting standards and guidelines, in the year 2010 they experienced an unprecedented degree of change necessary to keep pace with targeted therapies, personalized and evidence-based medicine.
After review of the Obama-Biden Plan to Combat Cancer it is evident that the cancer registrar will experience even more radical change in how they perform their data collection and analysis duties to meet these national healthcare goals. By looking at outcome measures linked to monetary rewards, physicians and healthcare organizations will need to rely on the cancer registrar, more than ever, to provide data to support compliance with best practice standards.
Cancer Registrars are positioned in the allied health field to provide the expertise, skill and clinical knowledge to perform data analysis and outcomes studies. As physicians, cancer program directors and hospital administrators become more comfortable with the cancer registry and the value they contribute to the bottom line, the cancer registry profession will grow and be recognized as a vital component to cancer healthcare and as the cancer data management experts they have become.
Careers in cancer registry, as part of the Health Information Technology industry, are already increasing in response to the demand for outcomes related data. Individuals interested in this profession should immediately seek the services of a cancer registry coach and mentor to help them discover the lifelong opportunities for employment in this promising allied health profession.
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