Inside Scoop: The Syapse Clinical Abstraction Team

Commemorating NCRW by celebrating diversity and career growth on the Syapse CTR team

2022/04 6 minutes read

Ctr April 22 Blog

For all of us at Syapse, seeing how data can truly improve outcomes in real time is more than a mission statement – it is life-changing. Everyday our Clinical Abstraction team makes a meaningful difference by discovering critical insights that help our clients find the right treatment plan for patients with cancer. This work requires the right combination of people, passion, skill sets, trust, and cutting-edge technology. Read more to hear directly from our diverse team of Certified Tumor Registrars (CTRs) about why they choose Syapse, the support they receive, and the impact they have on our clients and their patients. 

What makes Syapse the best place for a CTR to work?

Ronda Broome, Senior Manager (GA):  In a word: culture. The sense of community within the clinical abstraction department is ever-present, from celebrating milestones and special events to having approachable, dependable leadership. Even while transitioning to a fully remote workplace, Syapse has shown total devotion to our mental and emotional well-being by fostering communication and collaboration that keeps us motivated and committed to our mission.

Kate Geverd, Manager (PA): Clinical Abstraction leadership ensures a positive, supportive, and inclusive environment where everyone has a voice. We have the opportunity to learn new skills in addition to our everyday job duties. Everyone on the team is genuinely kind, empathetic, and understanding. 

How do you measure success in a Clinical Abstractor position at Syapse?

Ronda Broome: Success can be measured by both productivity and quality metrics, but in my opinion, true success goes beyond the numbers. It is relatively manageable to do what is required; however I measure success by abstractor motivation and engagement. Along with maintaining high standards, flexibility is treasured, as we also have to adapt quickly to change. Employees are people and I love that Syapse takes pride in valuing each of us as a whole, complex person. 

Kate Geverd: Success of a Clinical Abstractor depends on a variety of factors. It is a balance of productivity, quality, the ability to work independently, and being a mentor to other abstractors. Success is not limited to those things. We also strongly value personality and individuality. 

Outside of oncology data, what are your other or previous areas of expertise?

Liz Toland, Manager (TN): I worked as a Sonographer for 12 years. I became licensed in abdominal, breast, and vascular ultrasound. Expertise in this area complimented a career in oncology data because I was very familiar with cancers and other diseases from an imaging and treatment point of view. Easily interpreting ultrasound results set me up for success in the oncology data field. 

Ronda Broome: I have the privilege of coaching high school student-athletes in track & field. As a former collegiate student-athlete who competed at USA Track & Field (USATF) Olympic trials, I obtained formal coaching education post-retirement to give back to the sport that awarded me so much. 

I also tutor high school and college students in biology and chemistry. My favorite memory as a tutor in college was speaking on campus and seeing one of my former tutees relay that because of my help, she earned an academic scholarship, making her a first-generation college student.

Kate Geverd: I have a background in sociology and social work. I worked with people diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder in the residential setting. Before social work, I pursued nursing. 

Kim Lloyd, Lead Clinical Abstractor (IL): I was a certified pharmacy technician off and on from the time I was 16. I also had my own hairstyling business for 15 years. 

Laura Taylor, Clinical Abstractor 2 (MO): I am also a RHIT (Registered Health Information Technician) which was actually how I was exposed to cancer registry. Someone came to our school and did a two day introduction to what happens in a cancer registry and I was so intrigued. When I entered the workforce, I saw a position open in the cancer registry and jumped at the opportunity. I also did a brief internship in the trauma registry which I also found fascinating. I think my exposure to that helped shape me into wanting to be a CTR. Registry life seemed like the right fit.

Robin Bauman, Clinical Abstractor 2 (OH): I have expertise in nuclear medicine. I spent some time in the training & implementation of EPIC health information software. I trained hospital staff in inpatient procedure orders and clinical documentation. Additionally, I have experience with the quality measures associated with The Joint Commission accreditation process.

Why did you choose to work at Syapse?

Autumn Herriman, Clinical Abstractor 2 (MI): I love that the work that we do is being used to affect patient outcomes in real time. The data we collect is more meaningful and purposeful than what I've collected in past health systems. Our expertise is respected and appreciated at Syapse and I have never felt so valued by an employer.

Kim Lloyd: I was intrigued by the mission and forward-thinking of Syapse pertaining to oncology data collection. Using the data immediately is something the registry world has been toying with for a long time, while Syapse was already paving the way. 

My driving motivation of helping oncology patients was getting lost at my previous job in the hospital registry because the data I was collecting wasn't utilized right away. Then Syapse offered me a position and I have never looked back. I love my work here. 

Laura Taylor: My colleague, Kim, had transitioned to Syapse and could not stop raving about the great culture. She asked me if I would be interested if a position opened up. I wanted to see what all the hype was about, so when the recruiter called me,I agreed to the interview. I was blown away by how brilliant and passionate everyone was. Not to mention, the benefits and the competitive wage were also great incentives. 

Syapse really is the whole package. 

How does Syapse promote professional development and career growth?

Robin Bauman: There are always educational opportunities. From deepening our knowledge in oncology data to learning an entirely new skill like product management, Syapse has created numerous avenues for professional development. We are provided with free access to Udemy--an expansive online course provider, regular presentations from experts within our company, and mentorship programs for those with an interest in gaining insight from other departments or for deeper professional growth. 

I think these training opportunities & support are vital to produce excellent work and customer service.

Laura Devitt: Syapse often recognizes employees who pursue new educational opportunities. Their new skills are celebrated and rewarded with praise and respect. Often, employees are offered the opportunity to give presentations on newfound knowledge to their coworkers. When professional development is pursued, Syapse pays attention and offers career growth opportunities to those who want to learn. We even have monthly awards and gift card drawings for employees doing a stellar job and striving for professional development.

I also appreciate the real-time feedback given here. We do not have to wait for an annual review to learn how we are performing. We have open, caring leadership who provide feedback on a daily basis. Management is invested in the well-being and success of their employees.

Autumn Herriman: Aside from the opportunities Syapse gives us to pursue educational resources inside of our 8 hour work day, we are also surrounded by coworkers with all different areas of expertise. Everyone I have spoken with at Syapse is happy to share their insights or help us to understand the projects we are working on. I have gained so much knowledge since starting my path with Syapse.

Which three words would you choose to describe your professional journey at Syapse?

Daniele Morgan: Meaningful, Promising, Rare

Laura Devitt: Evolving, Interesting, Motivating

Kim Lloyd: Development, Opportunities, Support

‘The Scoop on Tumor Boards’

CTR’s within hospital systems have an important role in weekly cancer tumor boards, which are integral to optimizing patient outcomes. What opportunities do clinical abstractors at Syapse have to contribute to these meetings? 

Liz Toland: As a CTR at Syapse, we have the chance to prepare the caselist for a weekly Molecular Tumor Board for one of our health systems. We capture the patient's cancer journey from diagnosis to their current treatment in a very condensed, but thorough format. This is a great opportunity not only because we are able to help our customers, but it allows us to use the knowledge we acquired by abstracting multiple cancer sites while working for hospital systems. It also allows us to apply our knowledge in biomarkers, which most of us have expanded on while working for Syapse. 

Autumn Herriman: A customer I work with is Advocate Aurora Health, we help to prepare the patient's narrative, or the story of the patient's cancer journey. This helps the clinicians to form a recommendation specific to how the patient’s cancer is progressing, previous treatments they've had, and their molecular testing results.  

With the opportunity to be a key stakeholder for a weekly Molecular Tumor Board for one of Syapse’s customers, what do you most enjoy about the collaboration?

Liz Toland: What really excites me is having the opportunity to listen to oncologists, nurses, genetic counselors, and pharmacists come together to share their expertise and bounce suggestions off one another in order to generate the best care plan for a patient. Syapse is able to offer insights about specific biomarker mutations and targeted therapies that may help extend the life of a patient. Seeing how our data can truly improve outcomes in real time is more than a mission statement; it is life-changing. 

Autumn Herriman: The tumor board was one of the things I missed after I transitioned away from a hospital cancer registry role, so I was delighted to begin this collaboration with one of Syapse’s customers. I learn something new at every tumor board meeting. Being able to listen in and hear the compassion the group has for their patients is the highlight of my week.

In closing, at Syapse we are incredibly proud of the work we do across our teams, for our clients, and for the benefit of patients. This National Cancer Registrars Week we are honored to play a part in helping advance knowledge in oncology to improve the lives of all patients living with cancer. Thank you to all Cancer Registrars for all you do! To learn more about life as a CTR as Syapse, check out a previous blog post here: