Q&A with Q-Centrix is an ongoing blog series spotlighting key issues facing our health care quality community and the experts who support our partners in navigating an ever-evolving clinical data landscape. Read all installments of Q&A with Q-Centrix on our blog.
Despite a pandemic and the resulting disruptions across every corner of health care, 2020 has been a transformative year in cancer care quality improvement. In this Q&A installment, Lisa Ganem, CTR, Q-Centrix Senior Director of Oncology Growth, provides an insider look at this this distinctive area of clinical data management.
Can you tell us a little about your background in cancer registry reporting?
My career in the health care industry began in medical technology and my journey eventually led me to the cancer registry space. I pursued my Certified Tumor Registrar—or CTR—in 2005, working with a small cancer registry outsourcing company named Certicode. The cancer registry is responsible for collecting, analyzing, and reporting case information, and thus is critical to cancer surveillance and treatment research. With an interest in the cancer program accreditations, I also became an expert in overseeing hospital accreditation compliance to facilitate ongoing cancer program success. Eventually, I worked my way up and became Certicode’s owner in 2014—a journey that would not have been possible without the considerable efforts of all the dedicated employees I worked with along the way.
So, how did this path eventually lead you to Q-Centrix?
In 2019, Q-Centrix was looking to expand its oncology footprint and approached my company as a growth opportunity for both parties. Although the companies were quite different in size, our goals for quality and our commitment to a meaningful employee culture were very much the same. As the Certicode-Q-Centrix relationship grew, we saw that we could have a greater impact on cancer registry reporting by aligning our efforts under a single organization. So, in November 2019, Certicode became part of Q-Centrix. The result so far: high-capacity, high-efficiency data management in cancer registry reporting, which is made possible through the technology-enabled, expert-led team approach developed and refined by Q-Centrix over a decade’s time.
– The title Cancer Tumor Registrar does not quite reflect the notion that we are essential storytellers.
What is your role today and its impact in cancer reporting?
As the Senior Director of Oncology Growth, I am responsible for helping providers improve their cancer registry reporting. As part of the larger Q-Centrix community, the Oncology Division has the tactical expertise and capacity to streamline key data and accreditation processes. A clear example involves cancer centers with multiple accreditations. Most people familiar with cancer care know that the American College of Surgeons has three accreditation programs—general, breast-focused, and rectal-focused. With our growing footprint in the cancer registry space, we can cross-reference standards to minimize the number of times duplicate data and additional resources are prepared for submission across these programs. Additionally, we help cancer centers gain a broader view of these efforts so they can apply improvements across multiple cancer care lines. This manner of maximizing resources sets Q-Centrix apart as the optimal partner for growing cancer centers. In fact, I was recently selected to present on the advantages of this workflow by the National Cancer Registrars Association at their 2021 conference.
Besides meeting accreditation and mandated reporting requirements, how can cancer reporting benefit providers
The title Cancer Tumor Registrar does not quite reflect the notion that we are essential storytellers. The latest estimates put the number of new cancer cases at 1.8 million per year—in other words, there are many stories that we have the responsibility to tell thoroughly and accurately. Taking the facts of a person’s cancer journey and putting them into a complete abstract is an extremely important process that ultimately reveals treatment and outcome trends that, in turn, guide research and best-care practices. The cancer care community is increasingly recognizing the immediate value of this information.
– Our role is to continue to provide high-quality data management with our pulse on productivity.
So, is there a push to more-readily leverage cancer registry data?
Yes! In 2020, the American College of Surgeons’ Commission on Cancer introduced updated accreditation standards requiring more-concurrent reporting. The Rapid Cancer Reporting System (RCRS) replaces legacy systems that called for annual data submissions. This new system requires that case information be reported soon after initial diagnosis with updates made throughout treatment instead of afterward, thus helping ensure the latest evidence-based guidelines are followed in real time. This enhanced process is a game changer with respect to the impact of these registries on quality and optimal patient outcomes.
– A more-meaningful approach to cancer reporting is possible with the right plan and support—and our team is ready to help make that happen.
How does Q-Centrix fit into this evolving Rapid Cancer Reporting environment?
Our role is to continue to provide high-quality data management with our pulse on productivity. With our team and technology, we continually monitor and refine the time it takes to record case treatment information. In fact, Q-Centrix participated in a pilot of the new RCRS in 2020, providing best-practice input into the workflow component. Ultimately, our goal is to enable cancer centers to leverage their clinical data in a manner that helps them realize a vision where every person they treat will help improve the next person’s journey. A more-meaningful approach to cancer reporting is possible with the right plan and support—and our team is ready to help make that happen.