SEER Training Modules

Hospital-Based Registries

Hospital-based cancer registries maintain data on all patients diagnosed and/or treated for cancer at a particular facility. The focus of the hospital-based cancer registry is on clinical care and hospital administration. If you have taken a look at the brief history of cancer registries on the previous page, you may have noticed that the first cancer registry in the United States, Yale-New Haven Hospital Cancer Registry, was a hospital-based registry.

There are two sub-categories under hospital-based registries: single hospital registries and multi-institution registries. The primary goal of the single hospital (institution) registry is to improve patient care by medical audit-type evaluation of outcomes. Cancer data collected by the single hospital (institution) registry are also used for physician education, as a source of data for some types of research, and for some facility utilization assessment.

On the other hand, the primary goal of collective registries (multi-institution registries) is to improve patient care by supporting institutional registries with common standards and pooled data. They often seek to establish the natural history and etiology of the reported cancers.

Population-based registries record all new cases in a defined population (most frequently a geographical area such as a state) with an emphasis on epidemiology and public health. In contrast to hospital-based registries, population-based registries are designed to determine cancer patterns among various populations or sub-populations, to monitor cancer trends over time, to guide planning and evaluation of cancer control efforts, to help prioritize health resource allocations, and to advance clinical, epidemiological, and health services research.