Personnel Requirements & Resources
An adequate staff and budget must be provided to handle the follow-up volume. The staff must be trained and qualified to represent the institution in this process. The work area must be quiet during communication with patients and other contacts. Equipment needs will affect budgetary considerations.The follow-up function of the registry can enhance public relations of the institution. The person conducting follow-up must convey professionalism and be knowledgeable about available resources and general institutional information. This person must be comfortable talking about cancer with others, because this subject can be disturbing to the contacts.
A telephone and telephone line are mandatory when managing follow-up procedures. The person conducting follow-up should have access to a computer, the Internet, and software for working with the registry and other hospital records. Other equipment should include a printer or typewriter, fax machine, and file cabinets.
Telephone directories from cities in referral areas are helpful in obtaining addresses in addition to telephone numbers. City directories with street addresses are helpful in locating correct mailing addresses, and using physician rosters can also be time effective and accurate.
The type of follow-up letter generated by the computer is a factor in deciding what stationery to use. The type of envelope used for mailing the letters also must be considered. For example, different software systems require either labels or window envelopes for follow-up letters. Most cancer registries provide a self-addressed, stamped envelope in which to return the reply.