With health systems under increasing pressure, having access to timely, reconciled, robust data is critical. As a DSCRO provider and host for the National Commissioning Data Repository (NCDR), NHS Arden & GEM Commissioning Support Unit (CSU) processes almost a third of the nation’s health data.
In 2016, the CSU’s business intelligence service recognised that a number of data flows weren’t being processed as quickly and as effectively as they could be, with an overreliance on manual manipulation.
Our team of developers redesigned and rebuilt the entire data management process to ensure it was fully automated. This has improved data quality, increased processing and reporting speed, released analytical capacity back into the service and increased transparency for customers.
The CSU’s business intelligence service was reliant upon a manually intensive process in order to manage data submission and reporting, including SLAM data from providers, SUS and other national datasets such as MHSDS and IAPT. Raw data files had to be manually processed (with analysts on 24/7 standby to handle any potential issues) with patient confidential data manually removed.
The management team was concerned this approach took too long and also removed valuable analytical capacity from the service. In addition the current system infrastructure had reached full capacity and wasn’t operating optimally.
Ultimately, this impacted customers, as there was a delay in producing monthly reports to support crucial business processes such as contract management.
In order to increase data quality and processing speed, our team of developers redesigned and rebuilt the entire end to end data management process.
This included creation of a data portal and making innovative use of existing technology such as the parallel data warehouse.
The new fully automated end to end process:
In addition, the process now instantly identifies data failures and sends a notification to the team so they can investigate.
All changes within the data warehouse are fully compliant with Information Governance guidelines and protocols.
The impact of the new process, which has been in place since April 2017, has been hugely positive for both internal and external customers.
The key improvements delivered include:
These improvements will continue to deliver long term benefits for customers. As the process is now fully automated, significant amounts of analytical capacity are being released back into the business intelligence service.
Based on stakeholder feedback, the team has already identified areas for future improvement, including:
The ability to onboard large data volumes within very short timeframes will also benefit the delivery of Sustainability and Transformation Partnerships (STPs), where reporting needs to take place across new and larger geographies.
Our business intelligence team continues to work closely with clients to look at ways to standardise datasets and improve data quality so that all commissioners can benefit from the increased processing speeds and robust reporting delivered as part of this project.
My practice reviewed the list of highest risk stratified patients against our own list of patients at risk of unplanned admissions. We found 27 patients who had a risk of 75% or greater of a hospital admission in the next 6 months who were effectively ‘off our radar’. We have now added these patients to our proactive care list.