Varian enables clinical data reporting to support NHS goals for UK cancer care

8 March 2011

Varian Medical Systems has completed two data compatibility initiatives aimed at reducing data input for users of its cancer therapy systems in the UK National Health Service.

The company’s ARIA for MedOncology information system is now compatible with the National Cancer Intelligences Network (NCIN)/National Chemotherapy Advisory Group (NCAG) draft dataset and the Chemotherapy Planning Online Resource Tool (C-PORT).

“Far too much staff time in UK hospitals has been taken up inputting clinical data into different systems and there has been much duplication of effort, as they often need to manually input the same data two or three times,” says Bev McParland, area software sales manager for Varian Medical Systems.” The National Health Service is attempting to address this by introducing streamlined systems and Varian has worked hard to ensure our oncology information system is compatible with these.”

“ARIA Medical Oncology customers will receive these reports as part of their standard upgrade programme. The upshot should be that clinical staff can spend less time inputting data and more time caring for patients.”

NCIN draft dataset

The new draft NCIN dataset along with the existing reporting tools for radiotherapy will provide all stakeholders with the information to measure patient outcomes in real time, plan for future facilities and adjust funding based on accurate and timely data.

To ensure compatibility with this draft dataset, Varian received support from two key customer facilities that acted as pilot sites (Thames Valley and Lancashire Cancer Network), along with advice and support from the National Cancer Action Team (NCAT) and National Cancer Intelligence Network.


Developed for the NHS by Concentra, the C-PORT system is an on-line tool which applies advanced modelling techniques to tackle the problem of chemotherapy capacity planning. Available to all NHS hospitals, it enables them to produce a ‘model’ of an entire cancer centre, including staff, equipment and overheads. By inputting all these resources, administrators can calculate the financial and efficiency implications of changes in staffing or equipment.

“Manually inputting data from your oncology information system into C-PORT is very time-consuming, which is why Varian has created an interface between our ARIA system and C-PORT,” said Steve Laws, Varian’s head of European software sales.

“The NHS understands that by properly modelling resources they can spend money in the right way and achieve cost-efficiencies and we are working hard to ensure our systems interface effectively with these tools.”

Jane Whittome, associate director of NCAT, said, “We are really pleased to have worked with Varian as they have supported clinical teams in the NHS by ensuring that their products are able to interface with CPORT making data entry easier and quicker and also ensuring that their e-prescribing system is compatible with the draft dataset, so that once collection of the datasets is mandatory, NHS Trusts who use their system will more easily be able to submit data.”


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