Nassau University Medical Center’s Call for Data Experience

Peggy McNamee’s Story

The reference date for Nassau University Medical Center’s (NUMC) cancer registry is 1989, but they have a cancer registry history that dates back much farther than that. “I still have hand-written ledgers of cancer records dating back to the 1950’s stored in the closet here”, says Peggy McNamee, CTR. NUMC was also one of the first hospitals in New York state to have a cancer program accredited by the Commission on Cancer.

Clearly, NUMC, has a long history with cancer programs and cancer data. Their software of choice for many years was CansurFacs and they continued to use that software for their cancer registry even after the software was purchased by another company. Eventually the new company developed a new cancer registry software and dropped support of CansurFacs. In 2003, the NUMC was required to convert to the new software, and that is when they began to experience problems with their data.

NUMC Made the Decision to Start Looking Into Other Software Vendors

“The conversion to the new software corrupted our data. We made many requests to company to fix the data they corrupted but they were not responsive”. After having their requests ignored for a year, the staff at NUMC made the decision to start looking into other software vendors and products which lead them to discover CNExT.

One immediate difference Peggy noted in converting to CNExT is that abstracting is much more streamlined and cases can be completed much more quickly. And the data is clean when a case is completed, thanks to the built-in edits.

Shortly after converting to CNExT in 2004, Peggy needed to prepare her cases and submit them for the NCDB Call for Data. This is where Peggy found CNExT to be better than her old software, hands down.

Nassau University Medical Center in East Meadow, New York
Nassau University Medical Center in East Meadow, New York

“I used to send my file into the other software company to have the edits run. I’d then get a report back from them, make corrections and send the file again. I would make corrections only to find out the corrections caused other errors.” The other software company also had the criteria for case selection for the Call for Data wrong and when Peggy applied the fix that this company provided, she found 100 more cases that had to be edited and corrected before her data was ready for submission to the NCDB. “I was on the phone with the the software company on a daily basis asking questions and then waiting for answers. The process was very confusing for someone who was doing the Call for Data for the first time”.

“Everything about the Call for Data with CNExT is much easier. The NCDB edits help tool provided this year was especially helpful. All you had to do was click on the edit and you had an explanation of what the edit was about. And Technical Support is very responsive”.

So, how good was the quality of the data that NUMC submitted for the NCDB 2005 Call for Data? Peggy says it best: “I got the results of my NCDB Call for Data Submission this morning. For all four years there were no errors and no data quality problems. This is a first for us and I owe it all to CNExT!”

We’re glad that Peggy is so pleased with our CNEXT software, but we also know that the NUMC Cancer Registry staff played a very big role in those excellent Call for Data results.

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