Know your data management tools

This toolkit refers to data audit tools and practice software.

Data audit tools

Data audit tools extract and analyse practice-level data.

In the context of cancer screening, data audit tools can help you to:

  • track cancer screening participation rates
  • identify patients who have screened and who are overdue for screening
  • share de-identified cancer screening data with your primary health network (PHN), who may use this data to provide you with a benchmark of your performance against other practices in your area.

Data audit tools include PEN CS’s ‘CAT 4’ and Outcome Health’s ‘POLAR’ products.

Your PHN will have a data audit tool they make available. They should be your first point of contact for advice and training.

Practice software

  • The term practice software refers to the client information system used by your practice to manage patient records.
  • Some practices use data audit tools to aggregate patient data in order to produce lists of patients who are due (or overdue) for screening.
  • Other practices may use functions within their practice software or additional software available from their software provider (that integrates with their practice software) to perform these functions.

Further help

This toolkit outlines the data management steps your practice can take to drive increased participation in cancer screening.

We have provided ‘how to’ links for both data audit tools and practice software for each step.

If you require further support to undertake a step in a data audit tool or your practice software, contact your PHN or the help desk of your software provider.

PEN CS have consolidated instructions for using Pen CS’ CAT  to improve identification and management of patients eligible for screening , including under-screened or never screened patients and improve practice data quality. For more information visit How to use CAT Plus to better manage cancer

Glossary of data management terms

Test result

‘Test result’ refers to HL7 (electronic) or paper-based results received from a pathology provider or BreastScreen NSW.

Recall and reminder labels/codes

This refers to the title given to a recall or reminder within your practice software (e.g. a doctor has a patient with a normal BreastScreen NSW result and wants to set a reminder for the woman to return to BreastScreen NSW for a mammogram in 2 years’ time). The doctor sets a reminder using the label or code ‘BreastScreen – 2 years’. The terms ‘label’ and ‘code’ are interchangeable in this context.

Data/cancer screening data

Cancer screening data is any information relating to cancer screening. For example:

  • lists of patients overdue for screening
  • lists of patients for whom a cancer screening reminder or recall has been sent

Data cleaning/cleansing

Data cleaning/cleansing refers to any process that makes your cancer screening information more accurate. For example, tidying up how cancer screening recall and reminders are labelled/coded so that it’s easier to create lists of patients who have had recall or reminders sent.