Data and the information generated from that data is the oil that keeps the NHS engine moving. When issues with data arise, it isn’t just a data problem, it has a direct impact on patients, their care and costs for providing that care.
The access to and sharing of data remains a significant challenge as integrated care continues to be adopted and used on a daily basis. However, the quality of the data being shared and how it is used for decision making also creates challenges that are often given a lower priority than they should.
It is sometimes forgotten that n the drive to share data and develop data lakes for the purposes of supporting better care planning and decision making, that bringing poor quality data together with good quality data simply pollutes the whole. Additionally, using poor quality data for analytics or for training artificial intelligence platforms will lead to errors and inaccuracies. The old adage of “garbage in, garbage out” has never been more important or relevant than for data in digital health.
Populo’s services associated with Data and information management cover the entire spectrum from patient and clinical data through to financial and activity data linked to commissioning and statutory reporting such as RTT.
Data Quality – Data quality remains one of the single largest challenges to delivering effective and safe care for patients. Whether through incorrect entry or errors generated by systems, data quality is often eroded over time or at the time of moving from one system to another. Poor data quality can mean interruptions in patient care through inaccurate scheduling through patients still being left checked into systems when they have already been discharged. Failures in reporting and loss of income from activity being missed can also lead to significant losses in income for a Trust.
Data Migration – Data migration is often completely underestimated and left as an afterthought. It is estimated that >43% of issues with EPR go lives are associated with data migration, so it should be taken very seriously in its own light. As well as the potential risks, both clinical safety and operational, there is a often a significant financial costs that needs to be built into total cost of ownership in business cases when procuring and implementing a new system. Data migration also needs to consider testing and reporting strategies and well as duplication, merges and what levels of clinical data is required are required to be migrated as well as what options are available to access archived data post migration.
Populo Consulting supported us extensively throughout our EPR Optimisation Programme. Their model fits well within the wider programme management and the fixed price delivery linked to an agreed set of outcomes helped keep the programme within budget. Overall, I was impressed with the service received and wouldn’t hesitate to recommend them to other NHS organisations.
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