CCG’s across the UK have set themselves ambitious targets between now and April 2019. There have been many issues relating to patient experience and avoidable hospital admissions and these are the areas that the targets are set around.
Though, from our knowledge the targets are not in the public domain at the moment, CCG’s are looking to improve in the right areas. DCC believe there are three elements that can help CCG’s in reaching these targets and really bring about a positive change in the NHS. The first element is to establish a culture of prevention over cure. Secondly, the collection of the relevant data and the third is to visualise that data in a way allowing health professionals to form actionable insights that can bring about positive changes.
Prevention over Cure
The increase in avoidable hospital admissions is caused by a variety of factors and different groups of the population are susceptible alongside one or more of these factors. Age and distance to hospital are key causes. The elderly generation may not be able to access services, including primary care, which runs the risk of their health deteriorating and minor ailments becoming major. The further an individual is away from a hospital has a similar effect, also. Delving into more specific issues; lifestyle, education and access to the relevant information, play a part.
Education is an important factor to ensure the well-being of the population because it equips them with the knowledge to make a conscious decision for their own betterment; however, delivering the education is difficult as well as getting the right message across. A good example of this is the work DCC did with the Stroke Association. The Stroke Association were collecting the general public’s blood pressure data across the UK and we mapped that data on a dashboard powered by Google Maps, that was colour coded to different between areas of high and low blood pressure. The dashboard allowed Stroke Association to use their resources and focus their attention on educating in areas where high blood pressure is prevalent, hence where a stroke is more likely. Educating using a methodological approach such as this ensures that the information gets to the people who need it the most. There is little value in education about the links between blood pressure and stroke in those areas where they are already looking after themselves.
The only way patient experience can be improved in hospitals is to use the data in patient experience appropriately. This begins from collecting and collating data from a variety of sources efficiently and accurately. Not only do patients give their feedback on patient experience forms but also over the phone, email, social media and NHS choices. It is important for healthcare organisations to collect as much data as possible from external websites in order for them to make valid changes. On occasions mass changes are not required; recently we have heard of patient experience increasing by providing more seasoning to food! The reason why looking at free text patient experience data is extremely important because you’ll be able to see the granular things that make the most difference.
Data that has now been collected needs to be analysed and visualised in order to perform actionable insights. Visualising the data on an interactive dashboard will bring the data to life allowing healthcare professionals to deduce common causes for complaints and also what patients are saying specifically. It is not about addressing the majority of concerns but also the minor specific concerns and the way in which the dashboard is set up can enable this.
Furthermore, text and sentiment analytics is also a useful avenue to utilise. The text analytics engine applies a scale of sentiment to the free text feedback as well putting data in themes either based on pre-coded themes or using more of a flexible theming approach. The end result is a clear and conscience view of where priorities lie, essentially the dashboard makes the decisions for you. At present dashboard have been used for many performance measurement related issues and a one major retailer is benefit quite highly from the text analytics engine.
Book your demo
DCC host free onsite assessments and knowledge share workshops. The purpose of these workshops it to demonstrate how the technology works using a portion of your own data as opposed to a long spiel of detailed theory. The workshops will practically display the benefits of dashboard and sentiment analytics as well as a demonstration of automating the capture of data from patient experience forms and other sources and how everything is brought together using the suitable technologies.
Recently, we have heard of a massive £18 million overspend by Reading Hospital on a new system that cannot do the simplest of task of retrieving a patient record, it is these sorts of accidents, mis management and bad decision making we want to get away from and the only way this can be done is by empowering health professionals with the knowledge and education as well as using the right tools appropriate for the job and this is the DCC passion behind the workshops.