Victorian Cancer Registry E-Path Project

E-Path is expected to improve the accuracy, completeness and timeliness of cancer reporting in Victoria.

Rationale

The Victorian Cancer Registry (VCR) captures data from an established reporting network of hospitals and pathology laboratories to monitor and report on cancer incidence, mortality and survival. The submission of cancer notifications to the VCR is enabled and mandated by the Cancer Act 1958 (Vic).

Pathology reports (notifications) received by the VCR are an important source of information to verify a cancer diagnosis and to capture specific tumour characteristics. However, the current process for identifying pathology reports for submission to the VCR is not optimal.

  • More than 20% of pathology reports for cancer are not submitted by laboratories.
  • At least 10% of pathology reports are discarded by VCR because they do not meet the criteria for cancer reporting.

The number of cancers diagnosed each year is expected to increase by approximately 43% over the next 10 years1. In parallel, an increasing number and type of tests for cancer diagnosis are being undertaken.

These factors are all contributing to an increased burden of reporting on pathology laboratories.

Reducing the burden of pathology cancer notification

E-Path Reporter Pathology Edition (E-Path Reporter) was identified as a way to improve the cancer reporting process. A pilot of E-Path Reporter in two Victorian laboratories demonstrated considerable improvements in accuracy and completeness (100% sensitivity and 98% specificity). In addition, E-Path Reporter was found to operate effectively and efficiently as a background task with minimal to no input required by pathology laboratory staff.

The pilot demonstrated a substantial reduction in the burden of cancer reporting for pathology laboratories using E-Path. As a result, E-Path Reporter has been selected as the preferred method for the secure and automated submission of pathology reports for cancer to the VCR.

Benefit

The implementation of E-Path Reporter is expected to improve the accuracy, completeness and timeliness of cancer reporting in Victoria. 

E-Path benefit to pathology laboratories

   E-Path benefit to Victorian Cancer Registry

  • Compliance with statutory reporting requirements with virtually no ongoing input from laboratory staff
  • Pathologists no longer required to identify pathology reports for cancer
  • Scientific, IT and administrative staff no longer required to generate extracts for electronic submission or prepare reports for submission by post or fax
  • Virtually eliminate laboratory staff time responding to VCR requests for missing pathology reports
  • A reporting system that can be upgraded with little to no input from laboratory staff
  • Reduction in coder time taken to review incoming pathology reports and verify eligibility for registration
  • Data entry of patient demographic and referring doctor details no longer required
  • Substantial reduction in coder time allocated to chasing missing pathology reports
  • Improved timeliness of pathology notifications

 E-Path benefit to cancer control in Victoria
  • Improved accuracy and completeness of cancer reporting
  • Near real-time data capture available to support ethically approved cancer research
  • Improved data integrity, particularly demographic data for record linkage
  • Improved timeliness of VCR data services to support research and evaluation
  • Validation of stage at diagnosis submitted by hospitals

In the future, E-Path Reporter provides the capacity to auto-abstract individual data elements and provides the opportunity for laboratories to query the data submitted to the VCR.

Project outcome

E-Path Reporter is expected to be installed in up to 16 pathology laboratories, including pathology services of major metropolitan hospitals and private pathology laboratories. Following implementation, secure automated submission of more than 95% of the pathology reports for cancer to the VCR will be submitted in a standard format by E-Path Reporter.

Project Partner

Artificial Intelligence In Medicine E-Path Reporter is a product of Artificial Intelligence in Medicine (AIM), a software engineering company specialising in the development and deployment of healthcare information systems to improve cancer control.

For more information, please visit www.aim.ca/cancer-surveillance/

Funding

This project is funded by the Department of Health and Human Services Victoria and Cancer Council Victoria.

Contact Details

Georgina Marr
Project Manager
Victorian Cancer Registry
Cancer Council Victoria
+61 3 9514 6232
Fiona Kennett
E-Path Project Coordinator
Victorian Cancer Registry
Cancer Council Victoria
+61 3 9514 6240
Melissa Cheah
E-Path Project Coordinator
Victorian Cancer Registry
Cancer Council Victoria
+61 3 9514 6286  


1 Thursfield V, et al. Cancer in Victoria: Statistics & trends 2013. Cancer Council Victoria, 2014.


 Contact us for more information on the Victorian Cancer Registry. 

Participating Sites
(alphabetical order)

Alfred Hospital Pathology
Anatpath Pathology
Australian Clinical Labs (formerly Healthscope Pathology)
Austin Pathology
Dorevitch Pathology
Eastern Health Pathology
Goulburn Valley Health Pathology
Melbourne Health Pathology
Melbourne Pathology
Monash Health Pathology
Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre Pathology Service (Pilot site)
Royal Children's Hospital Laboratory (Pilot site)
St John of God Pathology
St Vincent's Pathology
TissuPath
Victorian Cancer Cytogenetics Service
Updated: 23 Dec, 2015