FAQs - National Cancer Information System

What is the National Cancer Information System- NCIS?

  •  The National Cancer Information System – NCIS is a computerised system that records information about a patient’s cancer case, diagnosis and treatment.
  • NCIS will be introduced to all public hospitals providing cancer services including Children's health Ireland (CHI) at Crumlin. This will commence on a phased basis in 2019. The NCIS project was initiated following approval of the business case prepared by the National Cancer Control Programme, the Office of the government CIO.
  • It is prioritised within the Cancer IT program of the ehealth Strategy for Ireland. 

Why was the NCIS project initiated?

  • The development of a business case for NCIS was led by the National Cancer Care Programme, NCCP, in response to the requirement identified by Medical Oncology Consultants and other Health Professionals who deliver the Cancer Care services.
  • The Business Case for the Medical Oncology and Clinical Information System included a review of national and international health strategy documents. These identified the main issues underlying the risk to patients receiving Systemic Anti-Cancer Therapy (SACT), including the lack of information sharing between hospitals, unavailability of patient records and lack of a centralised IT infrastructure and systems.

What does NCIS do?

  • The goal of the NCIS project is to deliver a clinical information system to support the care of oncology and haemato-oncology patients (including the provision of SACT) across Ireland. The system will be used in the designated cancer centers, satellite centers and other locations where medical oncology and haemato-oncology patients are receiving SACT treatment.
  • Access to the patient’s cancer treatment record will be available through the NCIS. This will ensure that all relevant healthcare providers will have access to the patient’s data in an appropriate and timely manner.
  • NCIS has a number of key functionalities which will be used by various health care professionals including prescribing, electronic medication administration records, support for aseptic compounding, Multi Disciplinary Meeting (MDM), documentation and reporting

What does the Prescribing function do?

  • NCIS has functionality which supports the prescribing and prescription verification of SACT and supportive medications, recording of the administration of SACT, SACT scheduling and clinical decision support.
  • This will be used by doctors, pharmacists and nurses and is the main functionality in the realisation of the expected benefits of legible prescriptions, automated calculations, entry of critical test data, use of standardised protocols, clinical decision support and scheduling of SACT

What regimens will be available on NCIS?

  • The National NCCP SACT Regimens form the basis of the NCIS regimen library which contains standardised SACT regimens acting as order sets.
  • Hospitals are requested to review their regimens in use locally and email any requests for additional regimens, queries or feedback to Oncologydrugs@cancercontrol.ie .
  • Regimens based on clinical trial and compassionate access protocols can be facilitated in NCIS and are available to hospitals on request. Contact ncis@cancercontrol.ie for further information.
  • NCIS also provides functionality to create a bespoke therapy plan or adjust an existing therapy plan on a per patient basis if required.

What does the aseptic compounding function do?

  • This will be used by pharmacy staff to support and document SACT compounding and also dispensing of outsourced product.
  • The bar-coded labelling applied is a key component in the delivery of closed-loop administration, a key medication safety feature.

What does the MDM function do?

The NCIS MDM functionality will support:

  • Recording standardised disease-specific Cancer Case Details
  • Planning and Scheduling MDMs
  • Add patient to MDM conference
  • Conducting MDM conferences/tumour boards including capturing attendance of decision-makers at a patient level.
  • Conclude MDM with structured therapy recommendations
  • Documentation and Communication

What documentation functionality is available?

  • NCIS produces standardised documentation on the conduct and outcome of multidisciplinary team meetings including relevant data about a patient’s cancer case.
  • It includes thorough documentation of each single step, from therapy planning to production to ensure compliance to sterile compounding guidelines and requirements. NCIS can also produce patient letters to include documentation on their cancer treatment

What reporting functionality is available?

  • NCIS provides a range of operational reports per hospital to facilitate analysis on a variety of topics

What hospitals will use NCIS

  • NCIS is to be implemented in all 26 public hospitals providing MDMs and SACT cancer services

Will paediatrics be included in NCIS?

  • Yes. CHI at Crumlin (formerly OLCHC) is the Designated Cancer Centre for the treatment of paediatric cancers and in one of the hospitals in the NCIS project.

Is there a Patient Assessment standardisation group?

How are local variations in clinical practice accommodated in NCIS? 

NCIS is a tool to support clinical practice and will be configured as flexibly as possible. The NCCP have led on the standardisation of elements to support the NCIS project including for example:

  • National Chemotherapy Regimens
  •  Patient Assessments
  •  Tumour Specific Datasets 

National consultation or consultation through the NCIS Local Implementation Teams have facilitated this.

What is the roll out schedule for NCIS?

  • The National Cancer Information System first went live in 2019 in St Lukes hospital Dublin.
  • Galway University Hospital went live in Nov 2019
  • Mayo University Hospital went live in 2020
  • St. James Hospital went live in December 2021
  • Beaumont Hospital went live in December 2021
  • University Hospital Kerry went live in April 2022
  • MHRT (Tullamore) went live in May 2022
  • CHI at Crumlin went live in November 2022
  • Letterkenny University Hospital went live in November 2022
  • South Infirmary Victoria University Hospital went live in February 2023
  • Connolly Hospital Blanchardstown went live in March 2023
  • Mercy University Hospital Cork went live in August 2023
  • Cavan Monaghan General Hospital went live in August 2023
  • Our Ladies of Lourdes Hospital Drogheda went live in September 2023
  • St Vincent's University Hospital went live in November 2023
  • St Luke's General Hospital Kilkenny went live in December 2023
  • Tipperary University Hospital went live in March 2024
  • Sligo University Hospital went live in March 2024
  • University Hospital Limerick went live in May 2024

The NCIS Project office in coordination with local hospital implementation teams continue to work, plan, configure and install the system into cancer care hospitals nationwide.

Where can I go for additional information?

Please see links below for further information on the National Cancer Information System


ehealth Ireland