System-wide Cancer Pathway Management – CanCollaborate, a tool to monitor and risk-assess PTLs
July 13, 2022 • Reading time 2 minutes
Since the start of the pandemic, the number of cancer patients treated has decreased, while the number of patients breaching the 62-day recommended target has risen. The risk of breach is particularly high for patients on complex pathways – partially due to the administrative time required for Trusts to exchange information on pathways and agree next steps.
As Trusts move to gain efficiencies through shared learning and mutual aid they need integrated data and tools to inform their decision-making. This is why Edge Health developed CanCollaborate, a tool which allows Trusts and system partners (like Cancer Alliances) to monitor and risk-assess their cancer patient tracking list (PTL) across multiple Trusts. The system-wide solution unlocks information for Trusts and system partners on complex pathways, allowing them to understand and support timely access for patients who are transferred between two or more hospitals.
CanCollaborate is compatible with all major cancer tracking systems (e.g., Somerset, Infoflex, Dendrite) and uses an approach that allows patients to be linked, while preserving anonymity. It includes both patient-level prediction of breach risk and a summary of breach risk for different tumour sites and patient cohorts linked to specific actions, making it easy for administrators to act based on recommendations. It also provides a weekly demand and capacity forecast 12 weeks in advance to align with staff scheduling, which is used to support system planning and discussions around capacity sharing. By linking demand and capacity forecasting with patient level data, Trusts and systems can easily understand how individual patient pathways contribute to overall demand for services.
Through development of this tool, Trusts have been able to reduce administrative time, assure equity of access across Trusts in the region, plan in advance through receiving early warnings of incoming tertiary referrals, and flag patients in urgent need of actions. By enabling proactive management of patient pathways and facilitating joint working, Trusts are able to reduce 62-day breaches and improve patient experience and outcomes.