A project using data to improve patient care has been shortlisted for a Health Service Journal Partnership award.

Guy’s Cancer Real World Evidence is a collaboration between clinicians at Guy’s and St Thomas’ and epidemiologists at King’s College London. It has been shortlisted in the Best Healthcare Analytics Project for the NHS category. The award ceremony will take place on 24 March 2022.

The project uses anonymised, routinely collected patient data to guide quality improvement and research. The overall aim of the project is to use the findings from data analysis to improve patient care.

In particular, the team has been recognised for the impact of its work on patient care during the COVID-19 pandemic. After the beginning of the pandemic, the partnership prioritised rapid, high-quality data collection. They also worked with patient advisers to ensure they took into account changing patient needs. This ensured the findings directly influenced patient care pathways and policy.

As a direct consequence, chemotherapy treatments at Guy’s and St Thomas’ only dipped to a minimum of 80% of usual activity during the first wave of the pandemic and had returned to usual levels of activity by September 2020. Almost all cancer patients were able to safely continue their treatments ensuring good long-term survival.

In parallel to this, the team established a COVID-19 and cancer database. COVID-19 data was collected and linked with routinely collected clinical cancer data. This COVID-19 prevalence work was presented at the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) Conference on COVID-19 and cancer.

The project was led by Dr Anne Rigg, Medical Director for Cancer and Surgery at Guy’s and St Thomas’, and Professor Mieke Van Hemelrijck, Translational Oncology and Urology Research team lead at King’s College London.

Joint project lead Dr Rigg said: “The team has really risen to the challenge posed by COVID-19, collaborating and adapting to rapidly changing circumstances. I’m incredibly proud of our multidisciplinary team, and pleased that they have been recognised by being shortlisted.

“It is the fine line between academic research and clinical analytics that we aimed to bridge with our partnership. No academic institution or NHS Trust can deliver this work on their own – hence this analytics partnership has proven to be of high value for both the patients and staff of our NHS Trust.”

Joint project lead Professor Van Hemelrijck said: “Although it is widely recognised that real world data is important, it is not always embedded in daily clinical practice and the grey area between clinical analytics and research often generates confusion. We therefore want to lead by example and highlight that bridging these disciplines is the way forward for successful research and analytics.”

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