Cancer Registry Organization

Cancer registry supervisory responsibilities vary depending on the size of the registry. In large registries, supervisors may spend more time monitoring and coordinating cancer program activities and staff. Supervisors in smaller registries may spend most of their time overseeing and performing registry functions.

The department responsible for overseeing the cancer registry varies by institution. For example, the registry may be a part of medical oncology, radiation oncology, pathology, quality improvement services, health information management (HIM), or another appropriate department. In most instances, the registry supervisor reports to the director, assistant director, or administrator of the department. Inevitably, cancer registry operations are affected by the goals of the department overseeing it. For example, registry staff within the health information management (HIM) department may be used for coding, chart analysis, or chart retrieval when HIM backlogs or staffing shortages occur. Therefore, the administrator responsible for the cancer registry must be knowledgeable regarding registry purposes and functions. This is vital to ensure that adequate staffing and time are devoted to registry operations. The cancer committee is ultimately responsible for overseeing cancer registry operations. Educating cancer committee members regarding the functions of the registry is essential to ensure their support and guidance.