By Lois Thomson
“It’s a niche industry,” says Betsy Johnson, and she should know that. Johnson refers to the Cancer and Trauma Registry, and she and her partner, Emily Stinner, founded theHIMpros, a recruitment consultancy firm that manages data from cancer or trauma patients.
Johnson explained that the job is to review the history of what is happening with a patient – including treatment and any surgeries or procedures that have been performed. “Registrars load data into hospital registry software, which is then uploaded to state and national registries, with the goal of tracking patient progress.”
For example, Johnson said that after treatment and/or surgery for cancer patients, the hospital will provide follow-up. “They will keep track every year – is the patient in remission, has the patient died, do they have a recurrence? Wherever the patient travels, the hospital is always responsible for monitoring this file. She further explained that there may be a thousand patients in a particular region who have cancer. “The registrar’s job is to document the surgeries, the type of cancer and what happened, and the doctor will use this information to write reports about why people in that area are getting this type of cancer. Is there anything in the water, is there anything that is common ground? They take summaries from all the different patients and use them to work out treatments and care plans.
She also said a multidisciplinary approach will often be used, where surgery, radiology and oncology teams will all come together to meet with the patient to see what type of treatment works best, based on their data points. . They will take the information they have gathered from other people who have had similar types of cancer and use it to help with the treatment plan for new patients.
According to Johnson, the job of registrars is very specific and they must have certification. “There aren’t many – maybe 6,000 across the country – and many are retired even though they still have their credentials. The number of trauma registrars is higher because there are nurses who have transitioned to do more data management work.
However, Johnson and Stinner have worked together in a previous venture and they bring that knowledge to HIMpros. “There aren’t a lot of people doing it, but being in the business for 13 or 14 years, Emily and I had a lot of contacts. We know people doing this work – both experts and newcomers to the field. When we decided to start the business – we are a women-owned business – we wanted to use our knowledge and connections to do it our way; so we do what clients need, what our consultants need, and we try to do it in the best possible way.
The importance of recording this data lies in the fact that hospitals, in order to maintain their status, must be reaccredited by the Commission on Cancer or the American Trauma Society, and they must complete a survey every three years for the cancer registry, and every two years for trauma. A backlog can occur if there is simply not enough help for some reason. When this happens, hospitals can contact HIMpros. “They will come to us and say, ‘We have a backlog of 2,000 cases, and we have our investigation next year, we need help catching up on the cases and making sure the data is correct and the quality is good. “We’re helping with that, so they qualify to stay accredited.”
Because work can be done remotely, theHIMpros provides services nationwide. Registrars can connect to the hospital network and, in accordance with HIPAA guidelines, are able to find the information they need within the network, do the work, collect the data, and log the results directly into the system hospital.
Stinner said that in addition to registry work, “we also offer concierge placement services. It’s no secret that it’s hard to hire right now, and even harder to hire good talent. Thus, our concierge placement services offer tailor-made solutions for healthcare institutions and hospitals to find the next radiologist, director of nursing, etc. And all of this is tailored to the specific needs of hospitals.
theHIMpros provides vital services to the healthcare industry and, as Johnson concluded, “it’s a very amazing field.”
For more information, call (813) 798-2133 or visit www.thehimpros.com.