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Other IT Developments

NICR continues to use CSA to improve completeness of selected data items (such as address and postcode) and to ensure we have more up-to-date data (for example, in relation to patient GP).CSA are further assisting the Registry by providing more timely notification of cancer deaths on a quarterly basis.This will greatly assist our efforts in becoming timelier with regard to cancer incidence figures.Recently, the CSA moved to a new system (NHAIS) which will soon contain the new Health and Social Care number.Routines used for matching our data to this system had to be extended and modified resulting in NICR only requesting one update for 2005 as opposed to the usual bi-annual updates.

NICR continues to play an active role in the UK Cancer Registry User Group with our partner registries, Thames and Trent, and recent newcomers to the user group – Mersey & Cheshire, North Western and Northern & Yorkshire Cancer Registries.The User Group now operates on a more formal basis with regular meetings between Directors to oversee and guide developments more effectively.The main areas of work include development of new GUI (Windows-like) screens for the main application software, the implementation of the Cancer Registry Minimum Data Set (CRMDS) and the documentation of the business rules in automated cancer registration.

i) Graphical User Interface (GUI) Screens

The first 2 phases of this development project have been completed.All the manual data entry and reference file maintenance screens have been developed and have undergone significant technical testing.These new screens have been linked to a new version of the cancer registration database – version 10.2.4 - which incorporated many new data fields corresponding to the National Cancer Data Set (CRMDS) for England.The work has been carried out by a commercial company (Financial Objects, F.O.) with our user group undertaking the required modifications to the back-end database software.F.O. are currently addressing phase 3 – both processing screens – based on the specification drawn up by the user group, with NICR taking a lead role due to our reliance on this aspect of the system.

ii) Cancer Registry Minimum Data Set (CRMDS)

Modifications to the data dictionary of the registration system have been completed.In addition, new validation routines and modifications to core routines have been written in order to facilitate processing of the new data items.Update/survivorship rules will need to be added at the implementation stage of the project.

iii) Business Rules

An access database has been used to document the various rulesets contained within the Registrations System.This has been put on the UKACR web site and is available to all registries.It currently contains documentation on validations and blocking (search mechanisms) for Trend and NICR.Thames Registry have yet to add their rules.It is planned to add update/survivorship rules and tumour matching rules to this database in due course.

iv) Security

We have developed our own NICR IT security policy (download a copy) based on the HPSS ICT policy.This exercise was completed in order to internally assess our IT security and conform to HPSS standards in addition to following QUB guidelines.The HPSS ICT Security Policy is based on the international standard ISO 17799 for ICT security (“Information Technology – Code of Practice for Information Security Management”).In general, we conform to most aspects of the HPSS ICT Security Policy. We identified the need to improve our perimeter security and we are currently investigating several physical access control solutions provided by Queen’s University

Contact Information

N. Ireland Cancer Registry
Centre for Public Health, School of Medicine, Dentistry & Biomedical Sciences
Queen's University Belfast
Mulhouse Building
Grosvenor Road
BT12 6DP

Tel: +(44)28 9063 2573
Fax: +(44)28 9024 8017

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