From ACO to Quality Patient Care: 12 Abbreviations You Need to Know

Quality Patient CareEver feel like your co-workers or your boss are speaking in a different language? No, we’re not talking about your team suddenly speaking in German. From ACO to Quality Patient Care, we’re talking about what often seems to be the language of choice for the medical field: acronyms.

We’re pretty sure that, regardless of your role, you don’t want to end up being the only one who nods their head with a confused smile when your boss states that all CTRs will have access to a new CIS, approved by the CoC of course, to improve quality patient care and ultimately increase ROI.

So, to help ease the confusion, we’ve rounded up some of the most commonly used terms and abbreviations you’re likely to run into at work in person or in an email. But since the NCI Dictionary of Cancer Terms features 8,170 terms related to cancer and medicine, we’ve narrowed it down to twelve.

1. ACO

Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs) are groups of doctors, hospitals, and other health care providers, who come together voluntarily to provide coordinated high quality care for Medicare patients. The goals of coordinated care are to proactively reduce waste and avoid duplication, without compromising quality patient care in the process.


Not to be confused with ACOs. The ACoS Commission on Cancer (CoC) recognizes cancer care programs for their commitment to providing comprehensive, high-quality, and multidisciplinary patient centered care. ACoS stands for the American College of Surgeons Cancer sets objective standards for health care program performance through standard-setting, accreditation, and educational activities.

Cancer programs seeking CoC accreditation must be compliant with requirements for all standards outlined in Cancer Program Standards (2016 Edition).


The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) National Program of Cancer Registries (NPCR) provides support for states and territories to maintain registries that provide high-quality cancer data.

4. CIS

Representing the collection of software solutions to help cancer organizations streamline internal process and reduce human errors, Clinical Information Systems (CIS) ultimately improve quality patient care and save money.

5. CRF

Custom Case Report Forms are specialized documents used in clinical research. They are study-protocol driven with robust content and materials used to collect study-specific data. Electronic CRFs (eCRFS) preserve and maintain the quality and integrity of data; it plays a significant role in the clinical trial and study success.

6. CTR

The Certified Tumor Registrar (CTR) credential demonstrates a requisite knowledge and professional competence needed within a cancer registry. It is nationally recognized in the recruitment and retention of registry personnel.

7. EHR

Electronic Health Record (EHR) technologies help cancer facilities move away from time-consuming and error-prone paper-based record systems and toward secure, efficient digital files.

8. HIE

Designed for medical professionals to access online, the cloud-based Health Information Exchange (HIE) accelerates access to share information and improve quality patient care.


The North American Association of Central Cancer Registries is a collaborative umbrella organization for cancer registries, governmental agencies, professional associations, and private groups who are interested in enhancing the quality and use of cancer registry data.

10. NCRA

The National Cancer Registrars Association is a not-for-profit association that represents cancer registry professionals and Certified Tumor Registrars through education and certification.


The National Program of Cancer Registries-Cancer Surveillance System. The Cancer Registries Amendment Act (Public Law 102-15), enacted by Congress in 1992, authorized the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to administer the NPCR. The intent of the federal law was to improve cancer control by encouraging development of state level population-based central registries whose data would conform to uniform standards. NPCR provided planning grants to states without central registries and grants to enhance existing state population based cancer registries.


The Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) Program of the NCI (National Cancer Institute) provides information on cancer statistics in an effort to reduce the cancer burden throughout the U.S.

ONCO Software Solutions for Improving Quality Patient Care

Also known as value-based care, quality patient care revolves around reducing healthcare costs by delivering efficient and productive care. At ONCO, our cutting edge software allows cancer organizations to seamlessly collect patient information, quickly track treatment data and analyze information. Learn more about how ONCO’s suite of solutions can help you in your efforts to deliver quality patient care and improve ROI. Contact us today at 800-604-7538 to schedule your complimentary demonstration.

Related blogs by Onco: