ONCO Professional Services Success Stories

Getting Your Cancer Registry Up to Speed in a Constantly Changing World: ONCO Success Stories

Many cancer registries today face critical staffing shortages and mountains of backlogs, and they struggle to keep up with frequent changes in reporting and accreditation requirements. At ONCO, we’re here to remove those headaches. Our professional services team can help get your cancer registry back on track. With our deep knowledge of ONCOLog tools and industry best practices, we work to optimize your cancer registry workflows and provide timely, accurate data. Our ultimate goal is always to give clients confidence in their cancer registries — freeing them up to focus on other priorities in their oncology programs.

See how we’ve driven transformational success for two recent clients.

Personalized Support Where You Need It: Kalispell Regional Healthcare

In 2020, Kalispell Regional Healthcare (now Logan Health), an academic medical center in Kalispell, Montana, was in urgent need of cancer registry support. It had a non-certified registrar on staff who could do case finding and follow-up, but it had recently lost its ODS; formally referred to as CTR. Nearly eight months behind in its abstracting, Kalispell tapped ONCO professional services.

Beyond the abstracting expertise, ONCO’s ODS; formally referred to as CTR, provided mentoring and support to staff to help improve their workflows and maximize their use of the software tools. At Kalispell, the registry staff had been running reports out of their electronic medical record to identify cancer patients and then manually entering this information for case finding. With the help of ONCO, their registry was able to implement a flat-file interface that automatically identifies potential cancer cases and then inserts into the database.

With its staffing shortage, Kalispell also had to evaluate how they were going to maintain its Commission on Cancer (CoC) accreditation. ONCO’s professional services stepped in to ensure that all registry standards were met.

Proven Impact

  • Using ONCO professional services, Kalispell reduced its abstracting backlog from eight months since first date of patient contact to three and a half months.
  • ONCO seamlessly managed all aspects of Kalispell’s accreditation — handled reports, attended regular cancer committee meetings, and provided a manager to support the standards for accreditation.
  • ONCO professional services worked closely with Kalispell’s cancer committee chair to ensure data requests were handled quickly and efficiently, and that all reporting to the state and CoC was timely, complete, and thorough.

Today’s cancer registries face a myriad of challenges, from staffing shortages to rapidly evolving rules and regulations. ONCO’s professional services team combines technological expertise with cancer registry experience to maximize the potential of your cancer registry.

Transforming a Multi-facility Cancer Registry Into a “Well-Oiled Machine”: HonorHealth

In early 2020, HonorHealth, a multi-facility nonprofit community hospital system serving Phoenix and Scottsdale, Arizona, reached a crossroads. It had multiple certified tumor registrars (ODSs) nearing retirement and was having difficulty finding talent to replace them. At the same time, it recently acquired a large regional medical oncology group that needed to be integrated into its already crunched cancer registry.

As a longtime client of ONCOLog, HonorHealth’s Vice President of Oncology decided it was time to bring in ONCO professional services to support the network’s cancer registry.

Within a month, ONCO’s team of ODS; formally referred to as CTRs, was performing all the necessary cancer registry tasks: case finding, abstracting, follow-up, quality control, state reporting, and pulling administrative reports. Following best practices for cancer registry workflow, each ODS was assigned a specialized role, which greatly improved productivity.

ONCO’s professional services team also provided invaluable technical support. HonorHealth needed to add an automated interface to reduce its months-long lag in case finding — a project that could never get off the ground. Within weeks of starting, ONCO’s professional services team was able to launch these applications, helping to move to real-time case finding.

Proven Impact

  • As a part of onboarding HonorHealth, ONCO’s professional services seamlessly integrated a large medical oncology practice into its existing multi-facility registry.
  • With ONCO’s professional services support, the number of HonorHealth’s total annual cases increased by 2.5x:
    • In 2019 (pre-ONCO): 6,493 cases
    • In 2020 (ONCO outsourcing began in August ’20): 13,328 cases
    • In 2021: 15,953 cases
    • Between 2020 and 2021, no new employees despite growing case volumes
  • As of 2022, HonorHealth’s seven-facility hospital system is abstracting within three and a half months, outperforming the standard industry timeframe of six months.

With ONCO’s support, HonorHealth gained confidence that its cancer registry was being run efficiently, was meeting reporting requirements, and had reliable data that could be leveraged for strategic decision-making.

HonorHealth and the Virginia G. Piper Cancer Care Network leverages our comprehensive contractual relationship with ONCO as a highly scalable total Cancer Registry solution.  Our program converted our Cancer Registry software to Oncology seven years ago to support the programs long term strategy.  The system grew with us as we tripled our analytic case volume.  Three years ago, the Virginia G. Piper Cancer Care Network expanded the initial software provider relationship to a complete outsourcing of the Cancer Registry functions. The primary driver behind our decision was to position our leadership team to focus on our core business while leveraging ONCO, as a Cancer Registry Subject matter expert, to provide this important support services department.  This has been an excellent business decision as our program has access to high quality data registry and the program leadership has a turn-key solution which is essentially budget neutral over operating our in-house Cancer Registry.

says Matt Schneider, Associate Vice President: Systems Oncology Services at HonorHealth.