Developing Intelligence for Cancer Pathway Tracking

October 24, 2019 • Reading time 2 minutes

Shorter waiting times for cancer diagnosis, treatment, and care improves patient experience and can improve survival rates. Nationally there is a 62-day target for hospitals. This target specifies that 85% – 90%* of referrals where a cancer diagnosis is confirmed should begin treatment within 62 days.

Meeting this target can be challenging for hospital cancer teams. There are many milestones that need to happen before treatment can begin (e.g. establishing a diagnosis and determining the best course of treatment). Missing one of these milestones can cause a ripple effect along the cancer pathway – leading to missed targets and worse experience and outcomes for people on the pathway. To make sure that none of the milestones are missed, cancer teams need to juggle live data from multiple sources and coordinate booking teams, as well as communicate high-level resource needs to senior team members.

Working with the cancer performance team at a Foundation Trust we developed a solution – CanTrack. CanTrack is a single platform that links data from the Somerset platform with data entered by bookers. The risk of missing milestones is RAG rated so that bookers can quickly establish who needs to be urgently booked in for their next appointment. CanTrack is connected to a live data stream so that changes to a person’s appointment status are immediately reflected.

Using the visualisations in CanTrack, senior members of the team can immediately see bottlenecks and support the booking team. There is also a suite of automated reporting tools available to make preparing data submissions to NHSI easy.

Following its successful implementation, end-users have shared positive feedback. While it is too early to see its impact, simply having the data and functionality of CanTrack has helped improve the workflow of the team.

*Depending on whether the referral is a GP referral or screening.


Edge Health are a specialist UK healthcare analytics consultancy that use data and insights to improve the delivery of health and care services, so that better outcomes can be delivered more efficiently.