« All Blogs Oct 16, 2014
Representing Your Patients in the NCDB

Each year cancer registrars submit thousands of cases to the National Cancer Data Base (NCDB) during the NCDB’s Annual Call for Data. This data provides valuable feedback for cancer-approved programs and is used for benchmarking and providing outcomes and survival data. Passing the edits allows for a smooth submission, but registrars should go beyond the edits and make every effort to submit data to the NCDB that is complete and meaningful.

Submitting Incomplete Data to the NCDB

Cases submitted with no treatment information or an unknown stage do not represent the patient well in the NCDB. These cases often cannot be used in benchmarking for treatment, staging or survival. Registrars need to make every attempt to acquire this data so the information is meaningful and can be utilized.

How to Address Incomplete Data

Reporting these types of cases to the cancer committee or working with the cancer liaison physician is one way registrars can make a change. This is particularly true with unstaged cases where the diagnostic workup and treatment was performed at the reporting facility. If staging cannot be obtained from the managing physician, perhaps the cancer committee physicians can assist in the assignment of staging. In addition, patients who have no treatment information can lead to opportunities for patient navigation as it is critical to determine what happened to these patients.

Registrars need to reach out to their cancer care team for help with incomplete cases to ensure the cancer registry is a rich source of data for the NCDB and represents the patients we serve.

How do you handle incomplete data? Leave a comment below to share your experience.

Learn about CHAMPS Oncology’s cancer registry services.

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About the Author

Ilona Gyerman, RHIT, CTR

Ilona Gyerman

20+ Years of Cancer Registry Experience

ASK ME ABOUT | CoC Accreditation, Survey Process, Data Quality, Cancer Registry Operations

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