Once a month, the registry should request the previous month's disease index from the health information management department, which may provide this report in hard-copy format or electronically. When requesting the disease index, the registrar should specify the cancer codes used by the health information management department to identify inpatient and outpatient visits. Use of the cancer-screening list of ICD-9-CM codes for casefinding will narrow the requested search to appropriate, registry-reportable cases. If the cancer committee wants additional types of cases included in the registry, the appropriate diagnostic codes for these case types should be added to the screening list.
The registrar must determine what the hospital-specific guidelines are for coding certain diagnoses to ensure the accuracy of the codes used to identify cancer cases in the hospital. For example, it may be the coding policy of the hospital to code a re-excision performed as definitive treatment for a melanoma primary to a V10 code (personal history of malignant neoplasm) if there was no residual disease in the pathology specimen, rather than code 172.9 (melanoma of skin). In such a situation, both codes must be included in a review to identify all coded melanoma cases from the disease index. Below is an example disease index that should be reviewed for eligible cases.
Sample Disease Index
|Patient Name||Discharge Date||Principal