Our Cancer Center Showcase continues this month with Blount Memorial Cancer Center located in Maryville, TN, on the campus of Blount Memorial Hospital. The cancer registry was established in 1993 and has been accredited by the American College of Surgeons Commission on Cancer (CoC) since 1996. Tonya Davis-Myers, CTR, Oncology Data Supervisor, states that the longevity of their CoC approval “supports our mission to improve the health and well-being of those in our community, by providing guidelines that focus on patient care.”
The registry staff consists of Mrs. Davis-Myers, CTR, Peter Zanoni, CTR, and Ying Qi, CTR who combined have more than 47 years of experience. They work together as a team, consistently meeting accreditation standards, reporting requirements, and have voluntarily served in roles for their state organization, the Tennessee Oncology Data Analysts Association (TODAA). In 2021, they accessioned a total of 836 cases, 669 analytic and 167 non-analytic. While the supervisor chooses to mainly work in the office on-site, employees can work remotely or in the office. Cancer Registry staff meets in the office for monthly staff meetings.
Blount Memorial Cancer Center holds one weekly multidisciplinary tumor board. The registry staff works with the tumor conference coordinator to ensure that CoC documentation requirements are met.
The registry completes many data requests for Cancer Committee members, nurse navigators, physicians, the community outreach coordinator, and partners with various hospital departments such as Genetics, Rehab, Marketing and Radiation Oncology, and Medical Oncology to provide data on newly diagnosed cases. Additionally, the registry reports to the state and RCRS monthly and provides numbers to physicians or other staff to see if they are eligible to participate in clinical trials. They also coordinate with other cancer registries to provide information on shared cases.
Most of the registry’s casefinding, suspense and some follow-up processes are automated. Mrs. Davis-Myers states, “Automation can be extremely helpful in casefinding and in follow-up. Facilities have their own unique systems and automation from some sources may not be as useful as others, but overall automation has been a time saver and welcomed by our department.” She further believes that automation will increase in the future and the role of the registrar will be to review the quality of the imported data to ensure that the automation is useful and maintains data quality.
The registry at Blount Memorial Cancer Center has been a client and partner of ERS since 2005, although Mrs. Davis-Myers also used ERS software at her previous place of employment for several years. She states that the ERS staff is knowledgeable and quick to respond to requests for assistance as well as supportive by providing training that can be accessed at any time. She also states that ERS leadership “can be trusted to stay abreast of changes and ensure that changes are implemented in a timely manner.”