At the heart of all RCN activities is a technological infrastructure that supports the harmonization of cancer care activities and efficient sharing of patient information to guide superior cancer care. The Integrated View of Patients & Data (IVPD) workgroup gives healthcare professionals rapid access to clinical information about a patient, regardless of where this information is recorded.
Providing efficient electronic access of complete patient information across the network to support patient care, in other words an integrated view of the patient, is an area of focus and will enable the following:
1) Continuity of patient care across hospital sites
2) Secure information access in a patient-consented environment
3) Improved communication of a patient’s medical history, including care received elsewhere
4) Saved time as patients will not have to repeat their history to every new healthcare professional
5) Reduction in wait times associated with transferring information such as diagnostic test results from one hospital to another
A second area of focus is the integration of standardized tools to support data collection, analysis, and reporting. This will allow clinicians to maintain high standards of evidence-based practice in the face of new discoveries, and administrators to appropriately focus their efforts where system improvements are needed. IVPD will also play an integral role in supporting the information needs of researchers across the network and assisting the transfer of innovative and promising technologies into practice.
A third and very important goal of this workgroup is to provide a one-stop shop for patients and their families with informational resources that can be used to understand their cancer journey. As a result, patients will be better equipped to weigh their options and make informed choices in the management of their own care.
IVPD has collaborated with all key players across the network towards the following accomplishments:
1) Development of a conceptual architecture for the RCN IT infrastructure
2) Collection of data from each RCN hospital on volume of patients served by each discipline, number of clinicians in each discipline, number of consultations, number of hospitalizations, and inventory of medical equipment and beds
3) Consensus on standard definitions and terminology for data collected
4) Identification of data sources and development of a data book prototype
5) Analysis to support the acquisition of an oncology electronic health record (EHR)
6) Implementation of a pilot project on the electronic access to patient information from anywhere in the network
Many complex information tools supported by dedicated and expert staff exist at each RCN hospital. With each hospital across the network pooling their expertise and working in collaboration, RCN hopes to promote synergies from the use of common tools, nomenclature and methodologies. Investment in shared resources will allow RCN hospitals to benefit from access to modern and flexible technologies while reducing associated costs. (contact Padma Ghoshal)