NCRA takes an active role in advocating on behalf of cancer registrars and registries. Working with NAACCR to present a united voice on the importance of hospital and central registries, the two organizations sent a letter to all new members of Congress. The letter outlined the role of cancer registrars and explained how the cancer registry system is one of the most fundamental ways public health professionals, physicians, and researchers understand and address cancer. NCRA and NAACCR have also worked together to prepare the fact sheet, Cancer Registries: Providing Quality Cancer Data to Inform Policy at the Local, State, and National Levels.
One Voice Against Cancer (OVAC) is a collaboration of national non-profit organizations representing millions of Americans, delivering a unified message to Congress and the White House on the need for increased cancer-related appropriations. NCRA is an active member of OVAC, representing the role and importance of cancer registrars and registries. Recently, NCRA participated in Capitol Hill visits with other members of OVAC. NCRA members explained the work of cancer registrars and asked Congressional leaders to appropriate at least $70 million for the CDC’s National Program of Cancer Registries. The OVAC Fact Sheet on Cancer Registries was included in information packets.
On April 6, 2017, during the NCRA 2017 Annual Education Conference in Washington, DC, many NCRA members conducted visits to Capitol Hill to discuss with their representatives the important role cancer registrars play in improving public health outcomes by collecting data that informs cancer research, treatment, and prevention programs. NCRA conducted an in-depth orientation for participants and prepared information packets outlining the important work of cancer registrars. The packets were customized to include state fact sheets, showcasing how cancer registry data are used to promote state-focused public health initiatives and inform state-wide and national research.
Cancer Registrars: Improving Lives through Quality Cancer Data Management
Key Messages: 2017 Walk on the Hill
Walk on the Hill Participant Orientation
NCRA advocated successfully for a new Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) for medical registrars. On December 7, 2017, the Bureau of Labor Statistics announced the establishment of a detailed occupation code of “Health Information Technologists and Medical Registrars" in the SOC system. The new detailed occupation code reflects the increase use of data to improve medical treatment and care and the critical role cancer registrars play in collecting that data. The new code will also ensure that the statistics on the cancer registry workforce will be more accurate, providing a clearer understanding of the current and future workforce needs; correct salary information will help recruit and retain qualified individuals; and skill-appropriate personnel will be hired to fill cancer registrar positions at both the central and hospital levels. Read the press release.
NCRA has prepared materials to help its members and other medical registrars understand the importance and the process for establishing a distinct detailed SOC occupation code for “Medical Registrars”. The following video presentation outlines NCRA’s rationale and the SOC revision process.
Cancer registrars are data information specialists that capture a complete history, diagnosis, treatment, and health status for every cancer patient in the U.S. The curated data provides essential information to researchers, healthcare providers, and public health officials to better monitor and advance cancer treatments, conduct research, and improve cancer prevention and screening programs. Learn more about how to become a cancer registrar and how cancer registry data is used to improve public health.