A wide range of varied data can help to deliver the insight needed to ensure healthcare is ready for future crises

As we look to the future of health care systems across the world, it is clear we will be reliant on innovation to help recover from the pandemic and to ensure readiness for any future crises.

09 Mar 2021 | 2 min read

Tom Binstead, Director of Strategy and Analytics

Insight is crucial to this innovation and is driven by data and as Sarah Wilkinson, CEO of NHS Digital, recently highlighted it is also the foundation of providing a robust digital public health system.

While she says there is a broad set of criteria to achieving success, she also points out that an expansive, rich set of data is needed to help understand health as well as sickness, to provide a clear view on population health trends.

Using broader datasets for more sophisticated analytics can provide richer insights. With new types of data becoming more accessible, such as data provided from the patient along with social economic and education data, its vital that all this information is readily available and combined, to help health systems get a true picture of the state of health within their communities.

Being able to provide a bird’s-eye view of a health system, using joined up data from different sources is often discussed, but making it happen is a challenge. There is no doubt that it helps to show where system improvements need to be made and resources are best placed, both for reactive and proactive care.

Good data allows predictive modelling to build resilience and predict care need.

As we move beyond the pandemic, NHS trusts once more find themselves trying to balance treatment of Covid-19 patients with the reintroduction of elective surgery and an influx of non-Covid-19 patients who have been avoiding attending hospital.

Yet this time round the number of patients is higher and the pressures are greater. The effects of long Covid-19 are also yet to be fully understood and will need to be taken into account when predicting which types of treatment and support will need to be funded.

Pre-emptive and predictive modelling with the ability to compare metrics will allow systems to develop a more proactive approach to service provision while also being able to predict pinch points in care need.

At Dr Foster we have been working hard to ensure we can use data from a range of different sources whether in the local authority domain, primary care and even community care. Our new InFocus+ tool is able to take in different datasets to feed into modular, tailored dashboards. This allows health organisations to identify areas of variance and opportunities for improvement at a single organisation or system level by easily extracting key insights around clinical and operational performance.

To find out more, contact us.