The submission of cancer notifications to the VCR is enabled and mandated by the Improving Cancer Outcomes Act 2014.
Pathology reports (notifications) received by the VCR are an important source of information to verify a cancer diagnosis and to capture specific tumour characteristics.
The number of cancers diagnosed each year is expected to increase by approximately 43% over the next 10 years. 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.
E-Path reduces the burden of pathology cancer notification
E-Path Reporter Pathology Edition ('E-Path') was identified as a way to improve the cancer reporting process. A pilot of E-Path in two Victorian laboratories demonstrated considerable improvements in accuracy and completeness (100% sensitivity and 98% specificity). In addition, E-Path 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 has been implemented across Victoria and currently captures approximately 94% of pathology notifications in Victoria.
E-Path has achieved the following benefits to pathology laboratories and the VCR.
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 now works with Abrevio to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of cancer reporting in Victoria.
E-Path Reporter is a product of Inspirata Canada, a software engineering company specialising in the development and deployment of healthcare information systems to improve cancer control.
E-Path Project Coordinator
Thursfield V, et al. Cancer in Victoria: Statistics & trends 2013. Cancer Council Victoria, 2014.
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