System of informational support for the Cervical Cancer Screening Programme in the Czech Republic.
start of the project: January 2008
Programmes aimed at early detection of malignant tumours rank among the top priorities concerning cancer control and management in the Czech Republic and Europe. According to the results of several epidemiological and clinical studies, screening programmes can effectively reduce mortality in three cancer diagnoses: breast cancer, colorectal cancer, and cervical cancer. At the moment, all three evidence-based cancer screening programmes have been running in the Czech Republic, as recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Council of the European Union. The systems for individual data collection and performance monitoring are implemented in accordance with international guidelines, as issued by the EU Commission.
Expert medical societies responsible for the management of screening and diagnosis of preventable malignant tumours (breast cancer, colorectal cancer and cervical cancer) have agreed with the Ministry of Health of the Czech Republic to appoint an academic institute responsible for data collection and performance monitoring of the screening programmes; this role has been attributed to the Institute of Biostatistics and Analyses of the Masaryk University (IBA MU).
A system for information support is a vital element of organised screening programmes. The Czech system for information support facilitates effective configuration and monitoring of screening process and outcomes. Its components include monitoring of cancer epidemiology, performance monitoring of screening centres and monitoring of screening programme using administrative data.
Since 2008, the opportunistic system of cervical cancer prevention has been gradually transformed into the organised Cervical Cancer Screening Programme in the Czech Republic. In January 2008, a network of accredited screening cytology centres was established. At the beginning of 2009, a data collection system run by IBA MU was launched. In 2011, the system was successfully adopted by all centres. An information system for the monitoring of internationally recommended performance indicators is currently being implemented.
The project also involves running and administration of the web portal www.cervix.cz (also available in English), which has been developed in order to enhance the public awareness of cervical cancer screening, and to coordinate the professional activities related to cervical cancer screening. The portal is intended both for experts and for the lay public. It brings to the physicians latest information on cervical cancer screening, and also serves as a communication platform among the screening centres and the executives who run the screening programme.