A.Fritz and Associates, LLC -  Preparing Cancer Registry Professionals for the Future

 

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After much fiscal analysis and soul-searching by myself and many of April’s’ long-time registry colleagues, we have reluctantly determined that is impossible to keep A.Fritz and Associates operating without her. 

It was always April’s intention to keep her books and classes at a reasonable and affordable price.  We never charged the company for the time she and I put into her projects.  She never operated this as a “for profit” enterprise.  If it cost more to put on a class than the money we collected in fees, she was OK with that.  But at the end of the year, we always came out a little ahead and that was fine with us.  She considered her books and classes to be a service to improve the quality of cancer data. 

In order to continue to update her classes and teach them on a regular basis, I would have to hire expert registrars to write and present the material. To fairly compensate these registrars, I would need to increase our prices significantly. That would put our products out of reach for those students who to pay for training out of pocket.  April’s colleagues report that there are a number of other quality learning opportunities being offered by other organizations/associations; many of these were unavailable when April started the company 12 years ago.

Especially hard for me is the decision to not publish the 3rd Edition of the Cancer Registry CASEbook.  April was developing updates during the last two years of her life while going through chemo.  However, the final 2018 updates by the standard setters were slow in coming—and, in fact, some are still not available.

Informal surveys were conducted at several state association meetings.  They revealed that the CASEbook itself is not needed as much as the ability to incorporate the expertise of the CASEbook into the material of newly updated training websites.  The CASEbook incorporated valuable detail that should not be lost.

Several years ago, when registrars abstracted, they needed multiple standards reference books (ICD-O, FORDS, Collaborative Stage, Summary Stage, Multiple Primary, site-specific items, etc.) simultaneously open on their desk. Most references are now electronically available, and it is much easier to toggle between windows on a computer than between open books on a desk.

Also, changes in standards are no longer released in batches every few years.  Today electronic updates are introduced continuously, making it impractical to rely on printed books.  And finally, keeping materials current would require an increase in the price of the books—something that April and I were determined shouldn’t happen.  Unfortunately, an honest cost/benefit analysis of the CASEbook 3rd Edition has doomed it.

I really wish I could keep April's legacy alive by continuing her work, but for the reasons I have stated, I cannot.  However, I think--and believe--that her legacy will be helping create a better trained cohort of registrars than the one she joined more than 40 years ago and who are continuing to contribute to the battle against the very disease that took her from us.

Bob Fritz,
Chief Operating Officer

 

Education is the key to professional development in any field.  For cancer registrars, a good education forms the foundation for understanding the principles of oncology and the highly detailed work involved in cancer registration. April Fritz, RHIT, CTR and her associates provide the finest educational opportunities available in the field of cancer registry operations.   

A.Fritz and Associates offers a variety of educational programs ranging from customized presentations prepared for registry professional organizations to three- and five-day highly focused educational programs for beginning registrars, CTR examination preparation courses, and Level II training for more experienced registrars. 

With more than 30 years of experience in cancer registration, April has worked in a variety of settings—hospital registries, central registries, and registry support companies.  She knows what registrars need as the educational foundation for everyday work activities.  In addition, she has been on the leading edge of registry technologies, helping to develop ICD-O-3 and the Collaborative Staging system and can bring that information to her audiences in an uncomplicated, understandable format.    

©2006-2019  A.Fritz and Associates LLC
21361 Crestview Road
Reno, NV 89521
Phone: 775-636-7243
Toll Free: 877-705-9753
FAX:  888-891-3012
bob@afritz.org