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Time Management in the Cancer Registry Field
Cancer Registry Field

By Vicky Lauseng, Cancer Information Specialist, RHIT, CTR

As the electronic health record and mobile connectivity drives an “on demand” culture in the cancer registry field, you may find demands on your time are increasing. Rapid changes in the landscape of healthcare have also prompted healthcare systems to depend on cancer registrars to do more with less.

You are not alone if you are trying to find more hours in a day to…meet deadlines from multiple standard setters, respond to requests for data, complete submissions and stay on top of abstracting. Hopefully these tips will help you manage your time wisely in the cancer registry field:

Make Lists. Start by making a list of all of your obligations and deadlines. Be sure to include recurring dates like deadlines for submitting data, annual cancer conferences and regular committee meetings. Also think about special projects (PCORI, anyone?) and long-term projects like SAR/PAR. And don’t forget to include community needs assessments if you are involved in them.

Prioritize. Go over your list and organize it by deadline date. If you have multiple tasks that are a top priority, further prioritize by considering outcomes and value.

Make Goals. How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time! The same concept can be applied in the cancer registry field. Break down your daunting tasks and give yourself goals. For example: “Have cases through April completed. Complete half of the Prostate Special Study cases by July 15. Casefind through October.”

Make a Schedule & Stick to it! Use a planner and write out a rough sketch on how you will devote your time. For example: “Abstract in the mornings, prepare slides for cancer committee from 1-2 p.m., submit RQRS by 4 p.m.”

Know Your Limits. We are the ultimate professionals and want to please everyone, but we need to say "no" sometimes for the sake of producing quality results AND for self-preservation. I don't think it is uncommon at all for those in our profession to be overextended. Know when to say “no.”

Delegate. As much as we like to think we can, we can’t always do it ALL. Look at your list of tasks and see if you can share a responsibility with someone else or take it off your plate altogether.

Efficient use of our time in the cancer registry field helps us work smarter, not harder. What tips would you add to my list?

Learn how to utilize Pinterest to use your time efficiently as a cancer registry student.

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