More than half (55%) of Trusts applied analytics to track positive infections of patients during the pandemic, while 22% used analytics to identify potential staff exposure to the virus and to inform testing.
New opportunities also arose for analytics sharing with other public sector organisations, for example around resource management and logistics. The free StockWatch app developed by AdviseInc, in partnership with Catalyst BI and powered by Qlik Sense, and used by over 200 public sector organisations, for example, provided real time insight into Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) resources at a regional level, mapped against demand, so one organisation’s surplus could be shared with another unable to protect its frontline workers.
This massive step forward in the use of analytics during the pandemic is testament to how the NHS has innovated in response to the crisis. Now, there is a significant opportunity to apply the learnings from this accelerated use of data to transform other areas of the health system.
TheUsing Data and Analytics to Underpin Better Healthcarereport, built on analysis of Freedom of Information responses and interviews with NHS Trusts, explores the significant opportunities and shares best practice for the next stage in the NHS’s use of data to improve patient outcomes.
Rob O’Neill, Head of Information at University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust (UHMBT), said, “Real-time analytics really matters – especially in a fast-moving environment like the Emergency Department. Giving our frontline care workers instant access to key information, such as the status of ambulances, surges in demand, which patients are due for discharge, as well as the current bed state across the Trust, is critical for empowering them to make informed decisions relating to the patient experience and care. This research proves the value of data in supporting and improving our NHS.”
The research identifies three key areas where a greater use of analytics can provide long-term benefits to the NHS:
Mark Singleton, Associate Director of Information Management and Technology, Wrightington, Wigan and Leigh NHS Foundation Trust, said, “As we continue to invest in and explore new ways that we can use our data, we are finding new ways to improve both our operations and – most importantly – patient care. For example, we’ve reduced waits for MRIs from ten days down to two through our analysis. However, for its full benefits to be achieved, we need to make analytics readily available for employees on-the-go, so that they can build it into their existing workflows and decision-making process. Historically, for example, if a nurse was seen getting their phone out on a ward, they’d be reprimanded by the matron. We need to shift the perception of mobiles in hospitals away from ‘checking Facebook’ to ‘a powerful pocket computer that helps me make better decisions.”