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Quality Captain Spotlight: Megan
megan headshot

Here's our next Quality Captain Spotlight! In this series, CHAMPS Oncology highlights members of our quality data team in recognition of their dedicated efforts performing quality control activities, assessments and reviews to ensure better data saves lives. This installment features Megan, RHIA, CTR.

Megan, who was featured as our first-ever Quality Captain last year, has been working in the cancer registry for 13 years. Her story begins back when she was an Ohio State student studying health information management. A guest speaker from the OSU Medical Center Cancer Registry delivered a presentation to her class on the cancer registry, coming at a time when she was still deciding what field to use her degree in. That discussion inspired her to pursue work in the cancer registry as a full-time career. At the time, the presentation outlined the perfect path for a college student to move into a stable job – but her chosen direction grew to have a far greater emotional meaning a few weeks before she began her work with CHAMPS.

“I recognize that each case I touch is an opportunity to create better data to save future lives,” Megan explained. “My father-in-law was diagnosed with stage IV lung cancer and passed away a few weeks before I started at CHAMPS. I knew I wanted to work in oncology and make a difference in the lives of cancer patients without being in a patient care setting. I began looking at what I could do with my registered health information administrator (RHIA) credentials and CHAMPS hired me without any registry experience, which I was tremendously thankful for. I was able to gain the one year of hands-on experience needed to sit for the certified tumor registrar (CTR) exam since I already had my RHIA.”

Now a leader in CHAMPS’ quality department, Megan attributes her philosophy to a quote by Henry Ford: “Quality means doing it right when no one is looking.” While the pandemic has presented many changes and uncertainties for the cancer registry since Megan was last highlighted as Quality Captain – particularly in the way data is collected – she works hard to make sure her team is on top of it all.

“There are new and required fields to capture in our cancer registry software as well as ICD-10 codes and texting needed for natural language processing,” Megan said. “These are all used to determine the impact the pandemic has had on patient care. For example, did a patient delay medical care due to the pandemic? Were they unable to get routine cancer screening performed which delayed a diagnosis?

“We are also seeing the order of treatment changing for cancer patients. When surgeries were put on hold nationwide, doctors started patients on oral chemotherapy or hormone therapy in an attempt to control the cancer before it could be surgically removed.”

Staying on top of these changes is what Megan identifies as her professional goals for 2021 and beyond – or, as she puts it, “I just want to keep up with all of the changes!” Her favorite part of her line of work is being able to continually learn new things alongside her colleagues. 

“I love the continuous learning that takes place in our organization and being able to provide our staff with our ‘Did You Know’ educational emails,” she said. “Most of the tips our quality department shares with the staff are things we didn’t know either!”

Megan resides in Norwalk, Ohio, with her husband, two children and Tootsie and Tug, their weiner dogs. 

Each installment of Quality Captain Spotlight features a quality control team member and recognizes their important work of ensuring better data saves lives. To learn more, follow #QualityCaptain on social media. What’s your favorite part about working in the cancer registry?

Interested in joining our rock star team? Learn about CHAMPS' cancer registry careers.

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