Improving the monitoring and care of cancer patients by enabling the information exchange between DHIS2 and Cancer Registry System (CanReg5)

Part of the Noncommunicable Disease and DHIS DAC2021 Session: Wednesday 23rd June 15:00

If you are attending the DHIS2 Annual Conference, more details on this session are available here.

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Nsanzumuhire Venuste, Systems Deployment and Capacity Building - Team Lead, HISP-RW
Mutali Jean-Paul, Software Development and System Admin - Team Lead, HISP-RW
Kamugunga Adolph, Project Implementation, Monitoring & Documentation - Team Lead, HISP-RW
Maurice Jules Mulisa, Software Programmer - Expert, HISP-RW
Hategikiman Jean-Paul, DHIS2 Implementer - Expert, HISP-RW
Blaise Mafende Mario, DHIS2 Implementer - Expert, HISP-RW
Ndabateze Amza, DHIS2 Implementers Expert, HISP-RW

Topic: “Improving the monitoring and care of cancer patients by enabling the information exchange between DHIS2 and Cancer Registry System (CanReg5)”

Cancer Unit/Rwanda Biomedical Center launched the country’s 5-year National Cancer Control Plan. Over the past decade, cancer patients have been able to receive chemotherapy at Butaro Cancer Center, and recently, the Rwanda Cancer Center was launched with 2 linear accelerator radiotherapy machines, which greatly reduced the number of referrals for treatment abroad. Palliative care services are increasing in Rwanda. Given that there is still substantial work to be done and there are many outstanding challenges, including The paper-based data collection method at the facility level, use of offline/standalone systems, delays of data submission from Health Facilities to cancer unit/RBC, Data Quality, and data loss risks, etc. As clinicians become active in cancer-related research quality and timely data are needed now more than ever, hence the need for strengthening the currently existing cancer registry.

RBC/Cancer Unit was using CanReg5 for data management. CanReg5 required users at the facility level to collect data using excel/paper-based and submit the documents at the central level where the data manager enters the data in the CanReg5 offline based system which was no longer effective for the country’s 5-year National Cancer Control Plan that requires quality data which is made available in real-time.

In order to bridge the gap of data collection coverage, real-time data entry, RBC introduced a DHIS-2 cancer registry that uses a tracker app for data entry, and the CanReg5 role was left for data analysis only. Hover ever it was not straightforward to send data from DHIS-2 to Canreg 5 because of different data formats, HISP Rwanda intervened and developed a DHIS-2 application to extract data from the DHIS2 Cancer registry and convert it into a compatible format for CanReg5.

The choice of interconnecting CanReg5 with DHIS2 is based on :
DHIS2 Scalability in Rwanda as it’s currently in use by all health facilities.
Centralized database ( access to any patient data in case of referral)
User friendly
Availability of quick technical support from DHIS-2 Community
In the continued agenda of the DHIS2 community to work towards developing and supporting global standards, increasing platform interoperability, including existing standards like FHIR, we believe the generic cancer registry DHIS2 App could be implemented in more countries to achieve integration on a larger scale and may in future replace Canreg5 when the analytical part is approved by International Association of Cancer Registers.


Questions during the session (from the zoom chat):

From @Quiambao, Arlene:
Thanks for sharing initiative in linking CanREg with DHIS2. The tool might be useful to other countries using CanReg, is this/ could this be made available widely on DHIS2 “appstore”?

From @Sarah Crooks:
I had a similar question regarding the availability of the API to link CanReg5 and DHIS2.

From @Mfex3:
Quiambao & Sarah: yes we hope to do so.

From @Rebecca:
@Arlene: we are exploring the possibility to work with Rwanda to understand their DHIS2 configuration and create as a global metadata package for other countries to install and use with CanReg5. We’ve had this demand in a few other places like Carribbean and have had some early discussions with WHO CanReg team in Lyon.

From @Quiambao, Arlene:
And how much additional investment to increase the scope, to include breast cancer screening?

Recording of the session can be found here:

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