Communicare integrates with the National Cancer Screening Register

Date published: 9 December 2021

The NCSR has integrated with Communicare, one of Australia’s leading health software platforms supporting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander organisations who deal with complex care needs in Indigenous and remote communities.

This integration is designed to provide easier access for healthcare providers using the Communicare platform to better support patient participation in the National Cervical Screening Program and National Bowel Cancer Screening Program.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples participate in bowel and cervical screening at a lower rate than non-Indigenous Australians.1 They are four times more likely to die from cervical cancer2 and more likely to be diagnosed with advanced stages of bowel cancer, which leads to a lower survival rate.3

Jon Paterson, CEO of the Aboriginal Medical Services Alliance Northern Territory (AMSANT), said, “There are various factors that contribute to these worrying statistics, including limited documentation of patient screening information, as well as low awareness of screening among patients and access to culturally appropriate information.”

“Doctors and healthcare workers, especially Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander healthcare workers, are key to supporting Indigenous people to screen. The Communicare platform supports them by providing opportunistic health interactions through intuitive system design.”

Communicare supports more than 70% of Aboriginal Medical Services, holds more than 400,000 medical records and is used by over 8,000 healthcare professionals nationwide. The platform has been created in collaboration with rural and remote health services to support the health and wellbeing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

Key features of the Communicare platform include:

  • Ability to record patient information across all areas of your organisation.
  • Highly customisable system that enables unified service integration, including the ability to configure fields specific to supporting health and care for Indigenous Australians such as culturally sensitive mourning replacement terms and skin groups.
  • Serves as a single source of truth to help improve reporting and decision making.

Now, users of Communicare can access and submit patient screening data directly from within a patient record in their desktop clinical software, and are able to:

  • More quickly access patient screening results and histories for cervical and bowel screening
  • Manage patient participation in the cervical and bowel screening programs
  • Request bowel program test kits for eligible participants
  • Receive notifications of overdue actions
  • Digitally create and send program forms, reducing manual handling
  • View patient program correspondence

To enable this functionality, practices using Communicare Version 21.3 can find more information at the Communicare Knowledge Centre.

Communicare is the third primary care software vendor to integrate with the NCSR, joining Best Practice and MedicalDirector.

The NCSR is delivered by Telstra Health on behalf of the Australian Government.

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1 AIHW, 2018, Cancer in Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander people of Australia

2 AIHW, 2018, Cancer in Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander people of Australia

3 Banham D et al. Cancer epidemiology. 2017;48:131-9.