In January 2006 the POIP selected management consultants AT Kearney to design and deliver a capacity planning tool under the guidance of a steering committee representing the NHS, Department of Health and the sponsoring pharmaceutical companies. AT Kearney assembled a team of specialists in health, operations management, micro‑economics and IT to execute the project and selected two technology partners: Concentra of the UK and iTransition, based in Belarus, to build a web-based version of the tool. The project team worked in collaboration with 80 NHS personnel from 26 Cancer Networks, including doctors, nurses, pharmacists, service improvement leads and business managers.
Version 5 of C‑PORT owes much to the lessons learned with the early adopters. In particular, data entry methods have been enhanced such that setting up C‑PORT is now much easier than it was in the early days. Implementing C‑PORT is now a seven-stage process that involves: (i) identifying stakeholders, (ii) data-scoping and collection, (iii) implementation planning, (iv) training of users, (vi) establishing baselines and (vii) using C‑PORT to survey, model and plan. A training programme (three half days) has been developed together with full supporting documentation. And a dedicated team of facilitators is on hand to support C‑PORT users.
Main Features of C‑PORT
1. Understanding the current position.
The exercise of C‑PORT implementation has proved valuable, in itself, at the participating centres since it has brought together staff from different departments in a collaborative planning exercise. C‑PORT has facilitated the collection, analysis and interpretation of data from multiple sources in a way that has not previously been possible. This process has lead to greater inter-departmental communication, collaboration and understanding.
2. Modelling the effects of potential change.
“Scenario planning”, undertaken using C‑PORT, has proven to be a safe and useful tool for capacity planning. There is clear evidence emerging to suggest that C‑PORT can help to avoid “bottle-necks” and smooth day-to-day delivery of chemotherapy services which, in turn, has a beneficial effect on the patient experience within the treatment pathway and also on staff morale.
3. Planning for increased and better chemotherapy services.
Experience to date has shown C‑PORT to be effective in planning for the introduction of new drug regimens (for example new drugs approved by NICE in the UK) through to planning for a “new build” chemotherapy unit. Quantitative data are also emerging to suggest that C‑PORT scenario planning can yield circa 10% improvement in efficiency without the need for additional resource.