Partnership expands support for Canadian cancer treatment data linkage and analysis

Unique initiative will develop and improve standardized cancer treatment data in Canada

TORONTO — The Canadian Partnership Against Cancer will help provinces delve deeper into cancer treatment data to improve the ability of clinicians, policy-makers, health system managers, analysts and others to understand patterns of care and highlight areas for improvement in the quality of patient care.

The Coordinated Data Development Initiative will fund five treatment data linkage projects to be delivered by the BC Cancer Agency, Statistics Canada, Eastern Health-Newfoundland and Labrador, Cancer Care Nova Scotia and Health PEI.

While Canada has rich data holdings, there is limited ability to link them and thus effectively use the data. Closing these gaps will lead to better access to radiation, surgery and chemotherapy data. Linking that data to administrative and staging data will enable provinces to track where treatment follows recommended guidelines and highlight areas for improvement.

“These projects will help develop infrastructure to support new data sets and create better links between provincial datasets, allowing for better and wider analysis of cancer treatment data that can help clinicians understand and evaluate the effectiveness of treatment. This can ultimately lead to better care and outcomes,” said Nicole Beben, Vice President, Strategy at the Partnership.

“Treatment data represents a critical component of the patient’s journey through the cancer system. Improving access to and use of this data will increase our understanding of how to improve that experience. Creating a more complete picture of what happens along the spectrum of care will highlight what is working and where change is needed. This initiative will help us to do that,” said Maureen MacIntyre, Director of the Cancer Surveillance and Epidemiology Unit at Cancer Care Nova Scotia.

Through the initiative, the BC Cancer Agency will develop a program to validate cancer surgery data. Statistics Canada will create a national dataset consisting of the Canadian Cancer Registry and surgical data from the Canadian Institute for Health Information’s Discharge Abstract Database/National Ambulatory Care Reporting System.

In Nova Scotia, BC, and PEI, funds will be used to create a link between the radiation therapy electronic medical record and the cancer registry system. Cancer Care Nova Scotia, in partnership with Health PEI, will also link drug information systems, containing systemic treatment data from community pharmacy-based information systems, to the cancer registry.

In Newfoundland, Eastern Health will link and consolidate chemotherapy data across the province.

The initiative helps meet the goals of the Canadian Strategy for Cancer Control, which aims to reduce the risk of cancer, lessen the likelihood of people dying from cancer, and enhance the quality of life for those affected by cancer.

The funding, totalling $2.1 million, runs to March 2017.


For more information, please contact:

Karen Palmer
Canadian Partnership Against Cancer
(647) 388-9647

About the Canadian Partnership Against Cancer

The Canadian Partnership Against Cancer works with Canada’s cancer community to reduce the burden of cancer on Canadians. Grounded in and informed by the experiences of those affected by cancer, the organization works with partners to support multi-jurisdictional uptake of evidence that will help to optimize cancer control planning and drive improvements in quality of practice across Canada. Through sustained effort and a focus on the cancer continuum, the organization supports the work of the collective cancer community in achieving long-term population outcomes: reduced incidence of cancer, less likelihood of Canadians dying from cancer, and an enhanced quality of life of those affected by cancer.