Ascension Providence Medical Center

Our Cancer Center Showcase Series continues with Ascension Providence Medical Center located in Mobile, AL. Ascension Providence is one of 157 hospitals in the Ascension Health network, which spans over 91 cities in 12 states.

The Ascension Providence cancer registry dates to 1987. The Cancer Center has been accredited by the American College of Surgeons Commission on Cancer (CoC) since 1990. The registry is led by Toni Terry, HIT, CTR, Regulatory Specialist. There are two fulltime CTR’s in the registry, as well as one part-time contracted CTR who performs follow-up. The registry accessions almost 700 analytic cases annually. All staff work from home, although one registrar attends weekly tumor conferences.

Ascension Providence holds one multi-disciplinary tumor conference each week where the cancer registry is responsible for coordinating the conferences as well as gathering and distributing all needed information to attendees. Additionally, the cancer registry reports all tumor conference activity to the cancer committee.

The cancer registry completes many data requests for the cancer committee, other facilities, their breast center, and the Ascension Health network which is in the process of building a central registry for their CoC accredited facilities. The registry works closely with the Southern Cancer Center, a private practice for medical oncology which has a large research and clinical trial department and provides the registry with data.

The cancer registry partners with the Cancer Center at Providence. Radiation Oncology is located in the Cancer Center as well as the Southern Cancer Center. Together, they collaborate to deliver personalized cancer care and support services.  Both areas provide the registry access to their EMRs for abstracting purposes. These centers play a large part with the Cancer Committee and provide navigation, survivorship, and community outreach reports as well as providing other roles.

On a monthly basis, the registry imports data into CRStar from Cerner, their EMR for casefinding and follow-up. Ms. Terry states they look forward to working with CRStar to automate this process to significantly improve their productivity.

When asked about the impact the longevity of their CoC accreditation has had on their health system, Ms. Terry says that accreditation has helped the cancer center stay up to date with national regulations and has enabled them to identify areas for process improvement.

Ms. Terry states that although the Ascension registry staff is small, they work extremely well together and work through any registry challenges as a group. The cancer registry has an excellent relationship with all staff physicians and the private practices that make up the health system. They all work together to achieve the same goal, which is to make the data as accurate as possible in order to improve future cancer treatment and overall care for their patients. Additionally, she states that she is proud to be a part of the Ascension Providence cancer registry team and plans to continue her work there until retirement!

The registry at Ascension Providence Medical Center has been a client and partner with ERS, Inc. since 1989. Ms. Terry made a lateral move in 2015 from the research department to the cancer registry. When starting her career in the registry, she was involved with the transition of the software from the legacy product to CRStar. She states that the ERS employees she met were all very knowledgeable and she felt excited to work with a group of people who were so easy to work with and seemed to have all the answers! Additionally, the registry takes full advantage of all the educational offerings, training and responsive support offered by ERS.