Dr Jem Rashbass, National Director for Cancer Registry Modernisation based at the Eastern Cancer Registration and Information Centre, spoke so fluently (and persuasively) that we found it hard to put pen to paper except to note that the natural language query tool his team have been using is TinQL (pronounced ‘tinkle’) – which converts natural language queries into SQL – but we’ve been able to find precious little on this tech on the web so perhaps we’ll follow that up with Dr. Rashbass and get back to you.
He also stated that trying to get a variety of institutions to provide data in a standard format on standard media and with exactly the same variables is not a process with which he wished to engage – so all of the processing is done very smartly at the receiving end and ultimately a data feedback process ought to encourage some stepping up to the mark by data suppliers.
The abstract for Dr. Rashbass’s talk was:
“The National Cancer Information Network is leading a change management programme across the English Cancer Registries to implement a single National Cancer Registration Service by the end of 2012. The NCRS is based on the Encore computer system and working practices of the Eastern Cancer Registry and Information Centre (ECRIC) and delivers near-real-time, clinically-rich quality assured information on all 350,000 cancers diagnosed in England. The Service will be run as a managed network across the existing eight local cancer registries. Data collection by the National Cancer Registration Service is covered by permissions from the National Information Governance Board; patient-identifiable information is available from nearly twenty different types of local and national information sources. The Service infrastructure of the National Registry has been developed to support a variety of national initiatives including the new national cancer audits in breast and prostate cancer and the CRUK stratified medicine initiative.”