Our Cancer Center Showcase series continues with Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center located in Winston-Salem, NC. The medical center is affiliated with Wake Forest University School of Medicine. The Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist Health System is renowned for its clinical expertise with the medical school is recognized nationally for its exceptional education and patient-centered research.
Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center has seen many changes throughout the years. It began as North Carolina Baptist Hospital in 1923 as an 88-bed hospital. In 1941, the hospital became affiliated with the Wake Forest School of Medicine, formerly Bowman Gray School of Medicine. In 2021, the medical center was acquired by Atrium Health in Charlotte, NC.
Today, Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist is comprised of five facilities and accessions approximately 5,000 cases annually. The cancer registry moved from the medical record department in 2008 to the oncology service line. There are 11 full time staff employees who work 100% remote. When asked to share comments about the staff, Cancer Registry Manager Inez Inman, BS, RHIT (Ret), CTR, states that the staff are fabulous and extremely hard working as well as exceptional people!
Discussions began at the medical center to form a cancer registry in 1958. The exact date it was formed is unknown. The cancer center became CoC accredited in 1978 with the first reference year dating back to 1975. Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center was awarded NCI designation in 1974. The medical center has been NAPBC accredited since 2009 and is currently seeking NAPRC status. When asked how the longevity of their CoC and NCI designations have impacted the health system, Ms. Inman states that it has enabled the health system to provide exceptional quality care and cutting-edge diagnostic and treatment options for oncology patients.
Being an academic center, the registry receives a lot of data requests. The registry receives a minimum of 100 data requests per year, directly. The main requests come from physicians, researchers, and administration. The registry data is submitted to the health system’s data warehouse where the data is combined with other health system data for research projects and special studies. In addition, the cancer registry plays a key role in the 14 site-specific tumor boards presented at the medical center. The registry staff take attendance and minutes and serve as coordinator for one of the tumor boards. Another initiative the registry is currently involved in is serving as co-coordinators with the GI navigator in the NAPRC accreditation process.
The cancer registry utilizes several interfaces for casefinding and follow-up. They currently use a billing interface based on ICD-10 codes and a follow-up interface. Ms. Inman states that automating these processes have increased productivity and efficiency of the registry, helping them stay more current.
Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center has been an ERS client since 1993 and has seen a lot of changes. Ms. Inman states that the registry staff appreciates the very user-friendly software, exceptional customer service, educational offerings and that ERS consistently updates the software with new offerings, thus staying up to date with the latest regulatory guidelines.