The National Cancer Screening Register – How Will It Impact Practices and Patients?

Cancer is a major cause of illness worldwide and in Australia. In 2020, it is estimated there will be just under 150,000 new cases of cancer diagnosed and approximately 50,000 cancer-related deaths, the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare states

Therefore it’s not surprising that healthcare initiatives relating to the proactive improvement of cancer care are high on our government’s priority list. Government initiatives include the National Bowel Cancer Screening Program and National Cervical Screening Program – and the National Cancer Screening Register (National Register/NCSR), built and operated by Telstra Health, was established by the Australian Government to support these programs.

From our upcoming Bp Premier Saffron release users will be able to access the National Register from within Bp Premier. Here’s the 101 on what you need to know about the National Register, how it will impact your Practice, the benefits and more about how it will be integrated with Bp Premier.

What is the National Cancer Screening Register?

The Australian Government Department of Health appointed Telstra Health to build and operate the National Register in 2016 to support bowel and cervical screening.

The National Register enables a single electronic record for each person participating in the programs, and provides a national electronic infrastructure for the collection, storage, analysis and reporting of screening program data. It invites and reminds people to screen and follows up on their participation. It also generates comprehensive data to inform policy, improve program quality and service delivery, gives healthcare providers better access to quality health information and makes it easier for participants to take control of their health.

The National Register is currently integrating with widely used Practice management systems like Bp Premier. The integration supports better patient care by allowing healthcare providers and pathologists to access and submit patients’ bowel and cervical screening program-related data at any time of the day.

Will Collected Data Be Secure in the National Cancer Screening Register?

The National Register has been built to comply with all relevant standards and policies including the Privacy Act 1988, the Australian Privacy Principles (APPs), and the National Cancer Screening Register Act 2016 to ensure the safety and security of confidential health data. Access to data is limited to patients, their healthcare providers and authorised bodies, such as state and territory health departments, who are able to access the data only to perform core duties related to the purpose of the National Register.

Similar to My Health Record, patients can opt out of this program should they elect to do so.

Patient Benefits

The aim of the National Register is simple; to increase bowel and cervical cancer screening participation and improve cancer related health outcomes through proactive communication with participants and healthcare providers. The National Register supports this by:

  • Inviting and reminding patients, through their Practice, when they are due and overdue for screening
  • Providing a patient’s screening history to laboratories and healthcare providers to inform clinical recommendations
  • Providing a ‘safety net’ for participants who are at risk and have not attended further testing, by prompting them (and their healthcare providers) to have follow up tests done

General Practitioner Benefits

For Practices and doctors, the National Register provides you with more patient screening information to help inform clinical decision making and aid you in your efforts to provide pre-emptive cancer care to your patients. General practitioners can utilise the National Register’s integration with Bp Premier to:

  • Manage patient program participation
  • Order a bowel screening test kit
  • View patient screening histories and utilise the information to inform clinical healthcare decisions and recommendations
  • Receive reminders for patients who are overdue for screening or follow-up, thereby making it easier and less time consuming to deliver proactive care where it’s of critical importance
  • Check and update patient contact and demographic details, including Indigenous status

And all this will be available from within Bp Premier.

What Do the Changes Look Like in Bp Premier?

Before you can use the NCSR Hub, integration will need to be enabled for your Practice, and our Training team has developed some fantastic resources to guide you through this. Once this integration is enabled, Doctors can interact directly with the National Cancer Screening Register from Bp Premier using the NCSR Hub. Doctors will be able to:

  • View and print a patient’s test results and cervical screening histories
  • View a patient’s screening status and alerts using easy to understand icons
  • Submit information and program forms to the National Register
  • View and update a patient’s details
  • Manage a patient’s participation in the bowel and cervical screening programs, including defer screening and opt out
  • Cease a patient’s correspondence for the cervical screening program
  • Nominate other people to assist your patient (such as a personal representative or another healthcare provider)

Upon the release of Saffron, please visit the Knowledge Base from inside Bp Premier for step-by-step instructions on how to set-up and configure the integration, how to use the NCSP Hub and an overview of NCSR Forms.

Authored by:

Harmony Sanderson Avatar

Harmony Sanderson
Manager of Marketing, Communications & Events at Best Practice Software