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University of Sheffield School of Health and Related Research

‘DCC really investigated what was needed – even asking the awkward questions that helped to qualify our research.’

Professor of Community Rehabilitation at the University of Sheffield, Pam Enderby, first crossed paths with DCC in 2009. At this time, Pam was working on a project that focused on analysing practices from different care providers in order to determine the most effective means of providing care, particularly for elderly patients. One particular challenge of the project was in the number of different systems used to collect and process data, few of which were capable of delivering the required functionality. ‘Inherent restrictions’ in the data collection and reporting processes of these systems were holding Pam and the School of Health and Related Research back, so the time was right to reconsider their approach.

For this particular project, information is gathered from different healthcare providers across the United Kingdom. Through analysis of the different approaches adopted by various teams, Pam and her team are able to determine which factors have a particularly positive effect on patients’ wellbeing. The care providers under Pam’s scrutiny comprise ‘a broad spectrum,’ including social care funded bodies, NHS institutions and acute trusts with nursing or other community care facilities. A combination of different policies and practices between different institutions, which at times can give conflicting advice, and the individual motivations of different care providers makes giving the most effective care a challenge.

Flexible, controllable data capture solutions

The work of Pam and her team is crucial in helping to improve the standards of care offered by each healthcare provider within their remit. As such, it is vital that the University of Sheffield’s School of Health and Related Research has the accurate, powerful data capture solutions it needs to examine existing healthcare processes in detail. After realising that her former data capture systems weren’t up to the task, Pam began looking for a solution that would provide her with ‘more control’ over the types of data she could gather, how it was collected and the formats it was subsequently presented in. Particularly challenging was the fact that each care provider had a different approach to data collection, so Pam’s new solution needed to consolidate all of these in a way that was clear and approachable for her and her colleagues.

Naturally, Pam’s search took her to the door of DCC, whom she’d previously encountered at a stroke forum in 2009. We were able to discuss, in detail, what Pam and the School of Health and Related Research needed from a data capture solution, communicating with the team in order to facilitate their needs. Pam was immediately impressed with the flexibility offered by DCC, and the initial meeting soon led to detailed discussions on how to create a more effective data capture and processing solution. We were able to meet with some of the likely service users of the system, make suggestions to improve the existing data collection processes and build our understanding of exactly what was required before facilitating a solution.

Whilst DCC arrived relatively late on to help Pam’s healthcare research project, with the project already eight years old by the time we were approached by the team, Pam praised our involvement over the past four years. She highlighted our invaluable assistance that has helped to ‘improve clinical services’ across a number of healthcare providers, enabling them to use the data they collect to bring about effective changes. “They really helped us to do our work properly and efficiently,” says Pam of DCC’s assistance. “They responded speedily and implemented fundamental changes that gave us the answers we needed. I would definitely recommend DCC to others – and have already done so!”

“With DCC’s help, we’ve taken data from a research arena and turned it into a practical tool that’s helped to improve care around the country.”

Professor Pam Enderby is known for her incredible contribution to not only Community Rehabilitation but her vast range of research interests as well as involvement with an extensive list of professional activities. As one of the key individuals responsible for the development of the TOM’s tool, we were lucky enough to assist her work by designing the forms and creating an interactive dashboard to view the data that was collected. More information can be found on our Therapy Outcome Measures page.