August 17, 2007
The IT system called C-PORT (Chemotherapy Planning Oncology Resource Tool) was developed by the Pharmaceutical Oncology Initiative Partnership (POIP), a joint venture between 12 member companies of the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI), the Cancer Action Team and the Cancer Services Collaborative Improvement Partnership. The system was developed to help tackle the problem that the uptake of new cancer medicines varies widely across the UK – so called “postcode prescribing”.
The system itself is a “capacity simulator”, a sophisticated modelling tool which uses statistical methods to predict how chemotherapy units will perform under different conditions. It allows chemotherapy units to plan for the uptake of new cancer medicines and redesign the way they deliver chemotherapy to improve efficiency and patient experience.
Over 80 front line staff were consulted during the design and test programme and it is currently being rolled out across the NHS with overwhelming support from the doctors, nurses, pharmacists and managers who will use it.
I strongly recommend that Cancer Networks and their stakeholders use this tool to improve forward planning for cancer drugs.
It proved to be a really complicated problem, so C-PORT pushes the boundaries of this type of simulation tool.
The success of the project also shows how the pharmaceutical industry can collaborate effectively with the NHS for the benefit of patients. Such collaborations have an important role to play in helping to improve health delivery.