A digital support tool to shorten the waiting times in cancer care

A decision support tool that supports in writing correct referrals as well as optimizes the information transfer between primary and specialist care.

When a doctor in primary care suspects prostate cancer, it can be crucial that the patient is referred to a specialist for diagnosis as soon as possible. However, the process of writing and sending referrals can be time-consuming and the referral procedures are complex. In collaboration with doctors in primary and specialist care we designed a tool to improve the referral flow between primary and specialist care.

The tool was commissioned by the Regional Cancer Center Stockholm-Gotland (RCC). It connects to the Standardised Care Flow process, which has been instituted in order to shorten the waiting times and promote equality within cancer care. Ocean collaborated with Cambio Healthcare Systems who develop decision support tools and CompuGroup Medical who are in charge of the medical records (journals) systems in the region. Ocean lead a design process which included workshops, interviews and field studies with doctors in both primary and specialist care to ensure that the results would be as effective as possible. The result was a functioning prototype and in 2018 a beta version will be tested and evaluated at selected primary care centers in Stockholm – at the moment 4 health centres involved in testing.

The concept can be translated in to other cancer treatment areas as well, and will hopefully inspire more solutions in the future.