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SEER Training Modules

Cancer Registry Planning

The first step in the planning process is to define the registry's objectives. Once objectives are defined, personnel, space, and equipment can be determined. The Standards of the Commission on Cancer, Vol. I: Cancer Program Standards and Vol. II: Registry Operations and Data Standards (ROADS), provide a basis for objective development by outlining all requirements that must be met to attain approval. In addition, medical and administrative staff may contribute suggestions for additional objectives, depending on the goals of the institution.

Although the majority of registry data are utilized by medical staff to evaluate cancer caseloads, treatment, and survival, some administrators are increasingly using registry data for resource planning and referral pattern identification. With the emergence of managed care, registry data may be used to identify service areas, physician recruitment opportunities, service usage, hospice needs, resource usage, or payment sources. As a result, the registry may need to modify objectives to meet changing institutional goals. Once defined, objectives provide a basis for developing registry staff position descriptions.