Which organisations are leading the way and having the biggest impact on the health of the citizens they serve? David Bolton, Qlik’s Global Industry Solutions director, Public Sector & Healthcare, takes a look at different examples of healthcare tech initiatives from around the world.
In any country, the state of public healthcare will always find itself under intense scrutiny. In recent times, however it feels like it is under the spotlight even more than usual. Just take a look at the NHS in recent months, whether it’s waiting times, ambulance responsiveness or bed shortages – the UK healthcare system is having to cope with these challenges with the added pressure of reduced budgets, an ageing population and increased demand.
Sahlgrenska in Sweden is one of largest hospitals in Northern Europe, and like many organisations has struggled with clinical variation. However, the use of data analytics has enabled them to make great progress addressing this issue by working on a value based care program which specifically uncovered variation in Orthopaedic care. This program has reduced adverse events by 18%, reduced reoperation by 17%, increased the number of surgeries by a staggering 44% and as a result, reduced waiting time by more than 40 days for hip and knee replacements. This was only possible by engaging clinicians with data, uncovering variations and dispelling widely held myths.
Wrightington, Wigan and Leigh (WWL) NHS Foundation Trust, like all NHS trusts is under huge pressure to decrease A&E waiting times. In a response to this challenge the trust has created an application that provides live A&E intelligence to all staff – doctors, nurses, clinicians and the board, giving a greater understanding of where patients are in their journey through the hospital – improving discharge levels, reducing delays and minimising re-admissions. By putting analytics into the hands of employees at the point of decision and empowering data-driven decisions to be made at all levels, its A&E department has been able to decrease patient waiting times by thirty minutes.
Veiligheidsregio Noord-Holland is an aggregated organisation in the Netherlands comprising of the regional fire department, the GHOR (medical assistance), Ambulancezorg (ambulance care) and the Gemeenschappelijke Meldkamer (communal emergency control centre).
New South Wales Health, covers all aspects of public health in New South Wales, Australia, and has been making strides to improve healthcare efficiencies across the region. Using visual analytics, NSW Health are delivering self-service analytics through the ABM Portal to the local health districts. By using and linking up financial, clinical and patient data they are able to deliver better health services to all, both for the short-term treatment, and long term care.
The Need for a Cultural Shift
It’s clear then that fantastic work is being done in pockets. However, what is needed now is greater awareness for these success cases, enabling knowledge sharing and establishing best practice at a national, and international level.
Healthcare analytics: A prescription for change
With this in mind we’ve outlined the key criteria to help stakeholders create an enterprise-wide, sustainable and progressive environment for analytics:
- A framework to ensure stakeholders properly embed analytics strategy within the wider organisational environment to generate value
- A value generation check-list outlining the critical factors in building pathways to tangible results
- Examples of healthcare organisations which have successfully generated value from analytics
This checklist is based primarily on lessons from the healthcare transformation, improvement and analytics front-lines as we’ve seen from these examples. However, a one sized approach does not fit all, and the best analytics strategies are those that are aligned to an organisation’s specific characteristics, potential and limitations.
The challenges facing healthcare are not going away, in fact they are likely to intensify. But what we have seen is the potential that technology can have in not only improving efficiency in the wake of limitations, but also most importantly improving patient care. This World Health Day, more should be done to celebrate the great improvements being made across the world, so others can learn from these successes.