FAQs - National Cancer Information System

What is the National Cancer Information System - NCIS?

Why was the NCIS project initiated?

What does NCIS do?

What does the prescribing function do?

What regimens will be available on NCIS?

What does the aseptic compounding function do?

What does the MDM function do?

What documentation functionality is available?

What reporting functionality is available?

What hospitals will use NCIS?

Will paediatrics be included in NCIS?

Is there a Patient Assessment Standardisation group?

How are local variations in clinical practice accommodated in NCIS?

What is the rollout schedule for NCIS?

Where can I go for additional information?

 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 centres, satellite centres 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, 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 Chemotherapy Regimens will form the basis of the NCIS regimen library.

Hospitals are requested to review their regimens in use locally and email any requests for additional regimens, queries or feedback to oncologydrugs@cancercontrol.ie

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 reports per hospital to all 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?

Yes, a Patient Assessment Standardisation Group has been in place since 2015. Information on this is available Patient Assessment Standardisation

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?

Implementation of lot 1 commenced in 2019. There are 4 hospitals in Lot 1;

  • St Luke's Hospital, Rathgar
  • Galway University Hospital 
  • Mayo University Hospital 
  • St James’s Hospital. 

May 2019 marked a significant point in the project when St Luke’s Hospital Rathgar went live with the National Cancer Information System (NCIS).

Work is continuing with next site for go live.

Where can I go for additional information?

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

NCIS

ehealth Ireland