News from the Director’s Office - November 2016

As an American, November is traditionally a month to take stock and express thanks (USA Thanksgiving last Thursday of November). While intentionally overlooking the political aspect of this November (USA presidential election November 8th) news from the Director’s Office this month is a return to the topic of NCRI unsung heroes.

We have an amazing group of folks tending to our information technology (IT) needs at NCRI. Similar to most other organizations, when an IT group is good, it tends to only get noticed when something goes wrong. Moreover, IT is a customer service function and as the old saying goes “you can’t please all of the people all of the time” especially when your customers are located all over Ireland like NCRI. In my opinion our IT group is on top of their game and certainly a bunch of unsung heroes.

Despite challenges, our IT group keeps everyone up and running allowing us to get on with the important work of registering cancer cases with the aim of improving the Irish cancer experience. In the recent past, the IT group has also undertaken the enormous task of developing a new cancer registration system (CRS) for NCRI. The CRS is the backbone of cancer registration and while the new system will bring many welcomed improvements it will also present many challenges to registration progress during the implementation phase. Introduction of any new software system takes time and expertise to iron the kinks out (of course no software is ever bug free). Our IT group will have the essential task of transitioning NCRI from the old CRS to the new one – no small responsibility –  in 2017.

This November, I think we should take a moment to thank our IT colleagues, for their ongoing support and competent extensive work on the CRS. Even more importantly we should not forget to thank them even when the implementation struggles begin (i.e. something goes wrong). NCRI will be better able to achieve our goals in the future with the new CRS.

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