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Analytics and business intelligence in healthcare is still undervalued

The CHKS Top Hospital Awards show that good management involves good business intelligence.

The value of good data, analytics and business intelligence – and its impact on improved management and service delivery – is often still under-appreciated within the healthcare sector.

Since the Francis Inquiry’s final report in 2013, the Keogh review and the Berwick report, there has been a culture shift within the NHS. The Five Year Forward View describes aspirations for a health service that meets local need and one where examples of success are shared from community to community.

A common theme that emerges among all winners of the coveted CHKS Top Hospitals Awards is a focus on putting the patient at the centre of care. Winners also value their staff and use their experiences of daily work on the frontline to shape the future of patient experience, quality of care and safety. In addition, patients, families, carers and staff are encouraged to work together to redesign services to take into account how the patient wants to be treated.

All of this relies on high quality data from within the organisation, and on its appropriate use. With 25 years’ experience in healthcare improvement, Capita and CHKS understands that the way data is managed and used has a significant impact on the running of a hospital trust.

And, as you can read in the related case studies, as well as better patient outcomes, good use of business intelligence can translate into significant operating cost savings (eg, Capita identified over £400m in savings over three years for NHS South Central) or reduced costs of service delivery (eg, Capita helped NHS Ashton Leigh & Wigan to deliver prescribing savings of £1.29m and productivity savings of £2.85m though implementing new service models).

Leading trusts are bringing clinicians and coders together to ensure everyone understands the importance of clarity and accuracy of information and to ensure that the resulting business intelligence can help them shape improved service delivery.

This is not just a back-office function – it is the backbone of a successful trust.

We measure the things that we do well, as well as those that are not done so well. We work alongside teams to gather relevant, current data and develop staff to use this information to deliver real benefits and learning. If people make a mistake we want them to feel empowered to admit this without fear of recrimination, and safe in the knowledge that it will be a learning experience.

Olive Macleod

Director of nursing and user experience, Northern Health and Social Care Trust

Good organisations know exactly what is happening and where, through both intelligence monitoring and feedback from patients and staff. Accurate internal data are essential to achieve this, however research shows that the clearest picture of patient safety will be achieved by combining these data with patient experience and feedback.

Recent Capita blogs on analytics within the health sector:

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