Circle Opinion

Reshaping health and social care with data insight

Susan Brooks

How data can help you improve patient outcomes in 7 priority areas

There’s constant pressure on NHS organisations to deliver better patient outcomes and value from public funding. Demand is high and service quality is under intense scrutiny.

NHS organisations have access to a wealth of organisational and patient data. But bringing it together to produce meaningful and trusted insight is a challenge. Decision-makers and clinicians must have access to analytics and reporting in clear formats. Data insight needs to be current and available in a timely manner. Data storage and usage must also be secure and compliant, to meet NHS and national standards for patient and citizen confidentiality.

Everyone’s talking about the fact that data insight is crucial to help your NHS organisation plan, operate and continually optimise resources, services, staffing and patient experiences. But what does that mean in practice? How do you unlock the insight to make a difference today? Amongst all the competing priorities for NHS managers, how specifically can data insight change the way your organisation operates, improve patient outcomes and tackle challenges like waiting lists and staff shortages?

Working with NHS Trusts and social care organisations, we’ve seen at first hand the difference that well managed data can make to efficiency and patient care. Actionable insight to influence real-time and future service design and planning is the holy grail for driving real value from your data to help improve the performance of your NHS organisation.

But to make it happen, where do you start? How can you achieve rapid and meaningful impact from an investment of time and budget in a data project?

We’ve identified seven high value activities that our NHS customers and partners have successfully optimised using data insight. By quantifying the benefits of one or more of these outcomes for your organisation, the case for prioritising your data project becomes clearer and easier to communicate with colleagues and stakeholders.

7 priority activities that NHS organisations can drive with data

1. Model and predict demand for services

Complete and accurate data and effective analytics tools give you the power to model and predict demand for services based on specific evidence relating to your patients and community. Produce relevant reports that decision-makers can scrutinise and understand with ease, so they can support your recommendations readily.

2. Put the right staff in the right place at the right time

Effective and accurate data about demand for services and availability of staff can help you roster more effectively – reducing wait times and giving patients better experiences in your clinical organisation. This has particular value when dealing with increased absence relating to Covid.

3. Review and respond immediately to current patient needs

If you have the capability to analyse patient data in real time, you can give clinicians the information they need to make fully informed decisions in the moment about care and treatment, to achieve the best patient outcomes.

4. Plan services effectively for better patient outcomes in critical areas

With a specialist NHS data platform like CACI’s InView, you can apply powerful analytics to dive deep into data and answer the most important questions for your organisation. Drive improved patient outcomes by tackling priority KPIs for your organisation – from waiting list monitoring, patient level costing and clinic usage to theatre utilisation and clinician availability.

5. Focus on frequent flyers

With a clear picture of frequent flyer characteristics and visit patterns from comprehensive and up-to-date reporting, you can proactively identify patients who need more support or information and help them to access the most appropriate services and treatments for their needs.

6. Integrate data to build a complete picture of demand for services

When you bring together local government and hospital data in a single, integrated data platform, you can access even richer insight into patients, services and demand. With one source of analytics and reporting, you can maximise the value of the information your organisation holds, including collaborating with other Trusts through data sharing within an ICS ecosystem.

7. Understand your patients more thoroughly and personally

Compliant data records and effective reporting gives your NHS organisation a clear picture of the demographic backgrounds of your patients. By understanding their backgrounds and lifestyles, you can shape your services and communications for better access and improved outcomes.

Every NHS organisation is different, with priorities and challenges that are unique to its community and resources. No matter where you are on your data journey or how you most urgently need to uncover and apply insight to your decision-making and planning, a tailored data transformation strategy can help you move forward. The most practical and effective approach is to outline a series of steps on that journey, making sure that you drive value from your data project as early as possible by accessing insight that supports your most pressing tactical requirements.

If you’d like to find out more about how data helps you deliver tangible improvements in key areas of your NHS organisation’s patient care, download our brochure Spearheading your data journey to improve patient outcomes. It describes in more detail how you can take action to activate data insight to reshape health and social care. It explains how CACI’s Health Insight Success Cycle is specifically designed to drive maximum value from data for NHS organisations.

To find out more visit our website or speak to an NHS data consultant about the results we’ve helped other organisations achieve, please get in touch with our NHS client team.

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Susan Brooks