The Gateshead Health NHS Foundation Trust group has revenues of around £250m, employs around 4,200 staff and currently provides 600 hospital beds across Gateshead. Gateshead NHS is recognised as a digitally mature Trust and has been linked to Newcastle University Hospital as a fast follower, as part of the Global Digital Exemplar (GDE) programme, to further accelerate its digital transformation.
As part of the NHS, Gateshead must work towards nationally mandated performance and KPI metrics with a risk of financial and reputational damage if they are not met. Examples include Refer to Treatment Time (RTT), A&E wait time, diagnostic wait time, and cancer wait times.
As David Thompson, Information and Development Manager, leading the Information Services, Development and Data Teams at Gateshead NHS Trust explains, “Our team would spend a significant amount of time preparing this information and supporting root-cause analysis when needed. For example, an analyst would spend two days a week on their RTT report: aggregating data, visually checking it, and applying business rules within Excel, before distributing the report to a wide number of Waiting List Managers, Service Line Managers, and Directors who would then validate the numbers and review any poorly performing patients.”
To improve this process, Thompson initiated a project to rationalise their BI offering after observing significant bottlenecks from an analytical and operational perspective along with the perception that existing tools, including Cognos and QlikView, were not being used to their full potential.
Following a detailed tender and selection process, the Trust decided to move to Yellowfin BI. As Thompson explains, “Compared to other tools, Yellowfin looked very easy to use. Both the functionality and the reports looked great; it was well beyond what we had in place.”
Yellowfin has been adopted by a far greater number of users than ever before. Beyond the data and analytics team, Yellowfin is accessed by over 100 people within the Trust: The Finance Team, Service Line Managers, Clinicians - medical staff and surgical staff who are responsible for clinical care, Waiting List Managers, Directors and Executives, and various others. Using Yellowfin’s API functionality, Yellowfin-driven content is consumed by hundreds of people beyond just those with a license.
“Yellowfin has removed a huge amount of administrative work for the Analytics Team,” says Thompson. “For example, with the RTT report, we have been able to apply all the business rules in Yellowfin. Thanks to its metadata and presentation layer, you can simply click on the metric and see everything you need to see about a particular patient – what happened, when it happened, if an appointment was missed. From an end user's point of view, it saves a lot of time and makes it very easy to view the bigger picture.”
Thompson estimates that Yellowfin has saved the Data Team approximately six to eight days of data processing per month and improved the visibility across the business into KPIs and performance metrics.
Other tangible examples include Waiting List Managers that can track patients on various patient waiting list bandings. Yellowfin allows them to review their current position, and pinpoint those at risk through a high-risk report and an early warning report.
The adoption of Yellowfin has also helped the Chief Clinical Information Officer (CCIO) to track and manage clinical metrics like ‘Patient Flow’, to ensure patients are being seen as quickly as possible, and that ancillary services like nutrition or physiotherapy are being delivered effectively so that patients can be discharged as quickly and as safely as possible.
Thompson and his team have also showcased what has been achieved from an analytics perspective to several other Trusts adding, “With other Trusts using Yellowfin and developing Yellowfin content, it becomes easy to share best practices and that is really valuable in our region.”