When NHS Bedfordshire, Luton and Milton Keynes (BLMK) ICB needed population health comparator and benchmark information at a place, PCN and GP practice level, Arden & GEM’s business intelligence team set about developing a new suite of dashboards.
By using an agile approach to project delivery, close collaboration with the customer, and an expertise in data sources and data management, a new group of dashboards was developed within Arden & GEM's business intelligence tool. The new report was released in March 2023 and is already supporting system partners with population health planning and approaches.
Arden & GEM’s business intelligence service has been providing data and analytics support to BLMK ICB since June 2021. The contract includes provision of a data warehouse and analytics solution which enables the ICS to have a ‘single version of truth’, with system partners able to access information and insight through the CSU’s business intelligence tool.
When the ICB needed to make population health comparator and benchmark information more readily available at a place, PCN and GP practice level, a new suite of dashboards was requested. The new report would replace the existing time consuming, manual processes that were being deployed to generate information with an automated dashboard suite, enabling PCNs and practices to compare themselves with other PCNs and practices inside the ICS.
Given the amount of data and development that would need to be undertaken to deliver this project, it was grouped into a three-stage process with clear deliverables and timelines.
Each phase included delivery of a cluster of the total seven different dashboards:
- Population Health Profiles
- PCN Population Health Profiles
- QOF Achievement
- ICB Outcome Indicators
- NHS Framework Indicators
- Public Health Indicators.
Arden & GEM assigned a dedicated project lead, with analytical capability and project management skills, who brought stakeholders together in three-weekly meetings to discuss the specification, present updates and review progress as part of an agile approach.
The broad stakeholder group included representatives from different levels and different departments within BLMK, including the ICB’s population health management team, to ensure effective communication and project implementation.
Upon reviewing the data sources needed for the dashboards, the CSU analyst team found these were widespread and out of date in places.
The data was brought together by designing new processes, setting up new SQL tables for existing information within the BLMK Data Management Environment (DME) and using NHS digital feeds. To address the timeliness of the data, all data was mapped and only information from the past few years was used.
After consolidating the data into one place, and linking records where possible, a rich source of central information was created. This included the Public Health Outcomes Framework data and the BLMK segmentation dataset, developed by Arden & GEM’s Advanced Analytics Unit, SMITH.
Analytical and data visualisation expertise was then deployed to design the dashboards, in Tableau, working closely with the customer to ensure that the outputs were easy to navigate and derive insight from.
Dashboard development and testing
The group of dashboards was developed using an agile approach over a seven-month period to bring together mapped and validated data. The original specification was refined in collaboration with the client to focus on the areas of highest value and greatest benefit. For example, the rich segmentation dataset, SMITH, was utilised to give cost and percentage information for specific conditions including asthma and depression.
BLMK now has a suite of bespoke dashboards to support population health planning and approaches at a place, PCN and practice level by providing comparison and benchmarking information.
This was achieved through an agile approach to project delivery, close collaboration and co-design with the customer, and an expertise in data sources and data management.
The dashboards were made available within the CSU's business intelligence tool in March 2023 and are already being consistently accessed by care providers and commissioners within BLMK.
"Working with Arden & GEM colleagues on this project has been an absolute pleasure. Through the use of advanced developmental skills and knowledge, the product has been delivered in line with the specification document."
Jamil Iqbal, Project Manager at NHS Bedfordshire, Luton and Milton Keynes ICB