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How is quality assurance and data management provided for the Maryland Cancer Registry?

Tracking cancer burden in Maryland

The Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene is required by law to maintain a registry of all cancers diagnosed in Maryland. Hospitals, physician's offices, radiation therapy centers, ambulatory care facilities, and diagnostic laboratories licensed in the state report incidences of cancer to the Maryland Cancer Registry (MCR).

These data are used to

  • Track trends in cancer incidence
  • Identify geographic variations in cancer incidence
  • Provide a foundation for cancer prevention programs throughout the state

Westat supported this effort by providing quality assurance and data management for the MCR.

Westat developed quality assurance and data management systems for Maryland’s cancer registry, which included maintenance of multiple databases and data collection applications, and supported the data collection website.

We established an informatics infrastructure for the MCR program, including a data collection website, several relational databases, and multiple data collection applications, all implemented and operated under strict procedural safeguards.

We developed procedures that meet the standards of the North American Association of Central Cancer Registries (NAACCR) for data safety and integrity.

We automated registry operations to be able to quickly and accurately process large numbers of cancer reports from health care providers.

Our epidemiologists and certified tumor registrars process 70,000+ cancer reports annually from 300+ health care facilities in Maryland.

The registry is the largest Mid-Atlantic registry to receive NAACCR Gold Certification for 7 years in a row.

The registry data is now used in national and international databases and research studies.

A complete database of cancers in the state

  • Ensures a solid foundation for cancer prevention programs in Maryland

  • Enables research that is relevant to Maryland residents and others

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