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Delayed National Screening Solution goes live

Friday, 4 September 2020  
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Return to home page editor Rebecca McBeth


The National Screening Solution, now called the Bowel Screening Register, has gone live for the first time at Hauora Tairâwhiti.

Tairâwhiti is the eleventh DHB to join New Zealand’s newest cancer screening programme and the first to use the custom-built IT system, which was originally due to be operational by October 2019, then delayed until March this year.

Delays in developing the system, that will manage and monitor a person’s entire screening journey, impacted the number of DHBs able to roll-out bowel screening in the last financial year. 

Deputy director-general, population health and prevention, Deborah Woodley says the new IT system is critical for the safe delivery of the bowel screening programme, which is just over halfway through a nationwide roll out. 

“This technology provides a centralised invitation and recall system, which tracks the participant’s journey along the screening pathway,” she says. 

“It's also critical to the ongoing monitoring and evaluation of the programme.”
The Ministry partnered with Deloitte in 2019 to build the platform on Salesforce technology. 

In January 2018, Cabinet approved a drawdown of $2 million to pay for the discovery and design phase of the NSS and Budget 2018 made provision of an additional $13 million for the system.

It replaces the Bowel Screening Pilot (BSP) register that is being used at the first ten DHBs to go live with the bowel screening programme. Woodley says this system has come to the end of its life. 

“As its name suggests, the BSP was designed for the pilot phase of the bowel screening programme, which began eight years ago. It has been enhanced a number of times but is now at the limits of its capacity,” she says.
The remaining screening DHBs will be switched over to the new system in coming months.
The National Bowel Screening programme was expected to be implemented nationwide by June next year, but will now be completed by the end of 2021. 

The new platform is supporting bowel screening but has been designed for use by other screening and population health initiatives.  

This year it was rapidly repurposed to develop the National Contact Tracing Solution, which stores case and contact details linked by Covid-19 exposure events, and supports contact management.

The NCTS has since been expanded to support the Covid-19 border process. It has been rolled out to managed isolation and quarantine facilities where it captures facility and room registration, day 3 and day 12 test requirements, daily health checks and the day 14 final release decision.
“The Ministry views this technology as a long-term strategic asset which it hopes over time will support multiple screening programmes and population health services,” says Woodley.


If you would like to provide feedback on this news story, please contact the editor Rebecca McBeth.


Read more news:

NSS to cost $15.9 million
National Screening Solution delayed

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