Journal of Applied Medical Sciences

Design and Implementation Issues of an Information System Supporting Cervical Cancer Screening Programs

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  • Abstract

    Cervical cancer is one of the most common women mortality reasons in the world. However it is a well studied disease with known natural history that can be prevented and treated if diagnosed in early stage. The key to prevention is the regular check of all women fulfilling specific criteria with test Papanikolaou, this process is called population based cervical cancer screening program. As the involved population is very large, critical to the success of the program is the organization and quality control and assurance. Unavoidable a computerized information system supporting the program must be in place. Aim of this article is to present aspects of the architecture, design and implementation of an information system supporting the Hellenic Cervical Cancer Screening Program. Within the framework of the Hellenic national program against cancer and especially for the branch related to the prevention of cervical cancer, it was designed and implemented a software system to support basic requirements. The requirements were captured from numerous sources, the basis was the European Guidelines and the users. The work flow design was produced and the system implementation was based on open source tools as the total cost had to be extremely low. The design and implementation of such systems has a lot off challenges; there are involved patients, specialists from numerous health disciplines, technical specialties and professionals from health authorities and management activities as well, the security requirements are very strict due to personal data and medical records, the system stability, availability and scalability requirements should be taken as well to account, finally user training and acceptance of the system especially as this is deployed for first time is crucial. The design and implementation of information systems supporting population based screening programs is feasible via open source tools and can be made available to the end users as a service via a web browser. Continuous support of the systems in terms of maintenance, expansions and user training is required especially if deployed for first time.