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Scottish Cancer Registry

Quality Assurance

NHS National Services Scotland ISD Scotland & NHS National Services Scotland

Quality Assurance

The Scottish Cancer Registry computer system runs over 500 validity and feasibility checks against each record before it is validated and available for analysis. These checks are constantly being reviewed and modified in line with changing classification and cancer registration practice.

Data quality in Cancer Registration is also monitored using routine indicators, computer validation and ad hoc studies of data accuracy and case ascertainment. Detailed checks are run on an ongoing basis, particularly at the end of a data year. Quality Assurance (QA) is also achieved through data exchange with national screening systems and cancer audit.

Data QA Initiative

A comprehensive data QA initiative has been developed over the past few years. Centrally based staff work closely with out-posted Cancer Information Officers in the field, who are now able to register cases of primary cancer using a wide range of data sources, including online hospital systems.
The QA programme is driven by the following considerations.

  • A push at national level for timely and high quality data.
  • A need to contribute to regular UK-wide Key Performance Indicators and national data quality initiatives.
  • Recognition that consistency within Scotland, the UK, and beyond is paramount for data quality, meaningful analysis, and comparisons.
  • A need to monitor new data items, changes in diagnostic classification and ongoing developments in cancer registration practice to identify data quality issues and training needs.

UK and Ireland Data Quality

ISD-based Data Quality and Support staff participate in the United Kingdom & Ireland Association of Cancer Registries (UKIACR) subgroups such as the Training, Coding and Classification Group and the Data Quality and Registration Group. This helps to achieve consistency of recording and allows staff to access guidance and support from colleagues throughout the country.

Data quality indicators for all of the registries in the UK and Ireland are also available on the UK and Ireland Association of Cancer Registries website.

Data Quality Internationally

Routine indicators of cancer registry data quality (and advice on their interpretation) can be found in the The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) monographs, Cancer Incidence in Five Continents.

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