Update on the National Cancer Screening Register

4 minute read

What is it and how will it impact practices and patients?

What is it and how will it impact practices and patients?

Cancer is a major cause of illness worldwide and in Australia. In 2020, it is estimated there will be just under 150,000 new cases of cancer diagnosed and approximately 50,000 cancer-related deaths, the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare states. Therefore it’s not surprising that healthcare initiatives relating to the proactive improvement of cancer care are high on our government’s priority list. One such initiative is the National Cancer Screening Register (NCSR).

From our upcoming Bp Premier Saffron release, users will be able to access the NCSR from within Bp Premier. Here’s the 101 on what you need to know about the initiative, how it will impact your practice, the benefits, and more about how it will be integrated with Bp Premier.

What is the National Cancer Screening Register?

The National Cancer Screening Register is a Department of Health initiative developed to support bowel cancer and cervical screening. Telstra Health has been engaged to develop the register, and the initiative has been implemented in partnership with state and territory governments.

The register is a national digital health platform that enables a single electronic record for each person in Australia, which collects, stores, analyses, and reports on cancer screening data across providers. The register assigns a unique national identifier to each patient while recording key data including patient contact and demographic information, screening test results, and healthcare provider details. The NCSR generates comprehensive data to inform clinical decision making, policy and healthcare delivery changes, and provide proactive cancer care to patients.

The Department of Health and Telstra Health have partnered with participating vendors, such as Best Practice Software, to integrate the register with widely used practice management systems like Bp Premier, to enable simple, electronic capture of cancer-related health information.

Will Collected Data be Secure in the National Cancer Screening Register?

Data and cyber security was of course a chief concern at the onset and throughout the project. The register was built to comply with all relevant standards and policies including the Privacy Act 1988, the Australian Privacy Principles, and the National Cancer Screening Register Act 2016 to ensure the safety and security of confidential health data. Access to data is limited to patients, their healthcare providers and authorised bodies, such as state and territory health departments, who are able to access the data only to perform core duties related to the purpose of the register.

Similar to My Health Record, patients can opt out of this program should they elect to do so.

Patient Benefits

The aim of the National Cancer Screening Register is simple: to improve cancer-related health outcomes through proactive communication and screening. The NCSR supports this by:

  • Reminding patients, through their practice, when they are due and overdue for screening
  • Providing a patient’s screening history to laboratories and other providers to inform recommendations
  • Providing a ‘safety net’ for participants who are at risk and have not attended further testing, by prompting them (and their healthcare providers) to have follow up tests done

General Practitioner Benefits

For practices and doctors, the NSCR will provide you with more patient data to help inform clinical decision making and will aid you in your efforts to provide pre-emptive cancer care to your patients. General practitioners can utilise the register to:

  • Order a bowel or cervical cancer screening test kit
  • View patient screening histories and use the information to inform clinical healthcare decisions and recommendations
  • Receive reminders for patients who are overdue for screening or follow-up
  • Check and update patient details
  • Manage patient program participation

And all this will be available from within Bp Premier.

What Do the Changes Look Like in Bp Premier?

Before you can use the NCSR Hub, NCSR integration will need to be enabled for your practice, and our praining team has developed some fantastic resources to guide you through this. Once this integration is enabled, doctors can interact directly with the National Cancer Screening Register from Bp Premier using the NCSR Hub. Doctors will be able to:

  • View and print a patient’s test results and screening histories
  • View a patient’s screening status and alerts using easy to understand icons
  • Submit information and forms to the register
  • View and update a patient’s details
  • Manage a patient’s screening participation
  • Cease a patient’s correspondence for the cervical screening program
  • Nominate other people to assist your patient (such as a personal representative or another healthcare provider)

Upon the release of Saffron, please visit the Knowledge Base from inside Bp Premier for step-by-step instructions on how to set up and configure the integration, how to use the NCSP Hub, and an overview of NCSR Forms.


Harmony Sanderson
Manager, Marketing, Communications & Events
Best Practice Software 


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