Cancer decision support (CDS) tools
Throughout 2013 we worked collaboratively with BMJ Informatica to develop and pilot an electronic cancer decision support (CDS) tool. Part funded by the Department of Health, the project aimed to help support GPs in their clinical decision making when referring patients with suspected cancer.
We have just detected our first patient with lung cancer. This patient would not have been referred without this tool being in place.
A GP from Scotland.
We tested the CDS tool with over 550 GP practices across the UK to ascertain its usefulness and appropriateness to incorporate within a standard 10 minute consultation. The aim being to raise awareness among GPs of cancer risk and to get them to 'think cancer' whilst helping support their decision making in ‘low risk but not no risk’ consultation cases. Following the success of the pilot, Cancer Research UK (CRUK) produced an executive summary of the project [PDF].
The BMJ Informatica tool includes a melanoma symptom checker which uses the NICE recommended 7-point weighted checklist for assessment of pigmented skin lesions. It is slightly different to the other risk calculators, in that the risk score calculated is based on the physical appearance of a pigmented skin lesion (mole) during consultation.
The eRAT software covers five tumour sites: colorectal, lung, oesophago-gastric (OG), pancreatic and ovarian cancers.
[the eCDS tool] made us think a bit more deeply … it’s probably made me more aware of symptoms which I may have not been as aware of in the past.
GP from England - using the eRAT tool.
The QCancer® tool covers 12 cancer types: blood, breast, cervical, colorectal, ovarian, uterine, lung, gastro-oesophageal, renal tract, prostate, testicular and pancreatic cancers.
The Prevention and Diagnosis Team won The Cancer Care Patient Safety Award for the electronic CDS tool in July 2015. Their poster also won a rosette for Best in Innovation at the Royal College of General Practitioners conference in October.
To register your interest, find out about training options, or for more information on the eCDS project in general, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
How to download the eCDS tool
The eCDS tool is now fully compatible with GP IT systems and available free of charge to all GPs in the UK.
If you would like to download the tool, please email us at email@example.com for the installation details. We are currently working with GP IT system providers to develop integrated versions of the tool.
Keep informed with our software integration update [PDF].
To help support you in this project we have developed a series of training resources and videos.
Webex learning sessions
We’ll be holding several online sessions to introduce the eCDS tool, demonstrate how it works and answer any questions you may have.
The sessions are open to anyone who is interested in downloading and using the eCDS tool.
Join us from 12pm to 1pm on the following dates:
- Thursday 28th April
- Thursday 26th May
- Tuesday 14th June
To book your place or to find out more, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Additional information documents
The CDS tools are based on two risk calculators for cancer: the Risk Assessment Tool (RAT), developed by Professor Willie Hamilton and Qcancer®, developed by Professor Julia Hippisley-Cox.
Professor Willie Hamilton talks about the Risk Assessment Tool (RAT.)
Professor Julia Hippisley Cox answers some FAQs about QCancer.
Thanks to Media Trust for their help with making these videos.