Our journey to transform the New Zealand and Australian National Cervical Screening Registers (NCSRs) into world-leading women’s healthcare initiatives with the goal of reducing preventable deaths, started by increasing the quality of the colposcopy clinical data component of these registers.
Early participation in the formation of both registers highlighted the huge benefits of bringing scattered colposcopy data into one place, and importantly has allowed us to make sure these benefits flow back to the hospitals and private practices supporting these registers.
Today the focus is on gathering accurate data and providing quality and timely colposcopy care with the minimum of effort, all necessary to build a world-leading women’s healthcare platform that is affordable for both hospital colposcopy departments and private gynaecology practices.
National Cervical Screening Programs (NCSPs) were established in New Zealand and Australia in 1990 and 1991 respectively. What makes the National Cervical Screening Registers (NCSRs) that underpin these programs so powerful, is at their heart, an amalgamation of data collected from screening providers, laboratories and colposcopists.
The full benefits of an NCSP can only be realised if ALL private practices and hospital colposcopy departments contribute quality and timely data. What was missing early on was a tool that enabled colposcopy services to automatically interface with the registers and optimise the quality and timeliness of the data whilst significantly decreasing the work of both the NCSR and the colposcopy services.
Transformation of the NCSP/NCSR in New Zealand.
In 2000 a colposcopy ‘database’ called Gynaecology Plus was created by Solutions Plus which enabled hospitals in New Zealand to accurately and consistently capture their colposcopy data and provide the NCSP with a summary of the performance of each hospitals’ colposcopy department.
From 2005 the NCSR requested a form for every diagnostic colposcopy and treatment performed by a colposcopist. Gynaecology Plus responded with the electronic completion of these forms thereby maximizing the quality and timeliness of the data being sent to the NCSR, while at the same time eliminating an additional task that was placed on busy clinicians and support staff. This initiative highlighted the comparative disadvantage of hand-written forms and double data entry.
In 2008 an automated messaging enhancement in Gynaecology Plus sent data directly into the register saving further time within colposcopy services. The remaining New Zealand hospitals moved quickly to adopt the Gynaecology Plus interface with the NCSR.
From an NCSR interface to an enabling Gynaecology Platform.
Within two years, every hospital in New Zealand had peer-reviewed and adopted the colposcopy module of Gynaecology Plus, not only fully automating their growing obligations to the NCSR, but also liberating clinicians’ time and significantly enhancing the efficiency and quality of care provided by their colposcopy departments.
Clinicians were able to observe the growing positive effects of Gynaecology Plus on their own departmental efficiency through standardisation and instant availability of complete clinical records, triaged management of referrals, treatments and follow-ups, and the automation and support of every aspect of colposcopy.
Adoption of Gynaecology Plus by private colposcopists quickly followed, many having seen Gynaecology Plus in action within their local hospitals, so that today, with all NZ hospitals and most private gynaecologists now using Gynaecology Plus, data from over 98% of all NZ colposcopies is automatically sent to the NCSR.
Building a highly successful national health solution.
The Gynaecology Plus colposcopy platform is without doubt a highly successful national health solution that supports and contributes to the NCSP goal of helping prevent unnecessary deaths. That it has achieved success entirely on its own merits, is an example of the significant impact that new generation specialist gynaecology software has on colposcopy services and women’s healthcare across cities, regions and nations.
Transforming the NCSR in Australia.
The cervical screening register in New Zealand was established as a National register from the outset, while in Australia the initial State and Territory registers were only replaced by a National register in 2016 and operating from late 2017, and currently are still only able to receive data from Colposcopists based on paper forms. However there are a number of early adopter hospitals in Australia who are reaping the significant, broader time/cost benefits of automatically satisfying their obligations to the NCSR though the Gynaecology Plus specialty colposcopy solution.
Early adopter Australian hospitals are gaining significant benefits by using Gynaecology Plus from the outset, immediately improving the safe and efficient operation of their own colposcopy services, and are ready to effortlessly handle the evolving requirements of the Australian NCSR as it moves from ‘paper forms’ to electronic messaging in the near future.
Bringing scattered data into one smart national system to save more lives.
The NCSP interface is only one small part of the total benefits available through a colposcopy focused solution like Gynaecology Plus, which is continually being enhanced through ongoing input from hundreds of clinicians for over 20 years. Only Gynaecology Plus has been designed specifically for Australasian Gynaecology standards, local workflows, legislative and professional body requirements and the wider healthcare standards that exist in these countries.
Delivering world-leading, gold standard colposcopy care requires every private practice and hospital gynaecology department across Australia to be automatically contributing data into the National Register as they do in New Zealand. To support this goal, and more recently in response to our now more challenging world, Gynaecology Plus has structured its pricing to be affordable within all Australian hospital department budgets.