New NHS partnership launches suite of data reporting tools for A&E, procurement and finance savings

Wrightington, Wigan and Leigh NHS Foundation Trust collaborates with NHS Shared Business Services to deliver HealthIntell

Two leading NHS organisations have come together to launch a new joint vision that will help the health service to harness the power of data and technology and address some of the most-pressing challenges facing the NHS.

Developed by the NHS for the NHS, HealthIntell is a development between business support provider, NHS Shared Business Services (NHS SBS), and business intelligence experts at Wrightington, Wigan and Leigh NHS Foundation Trust (WWL).

HealthIntell has huge promise for the NHS as it creates the right tools for the job by using the right people with the right expertise

HealthIntell is a suite of reporting applications, exclusively for the NHS, that will help NHS organisations address issues such as A&E winter pressures, procurement challenges, and financial management.

David Morris, managing director of NHS SBS, said: “HealthIntell gives us the platform to deliver health technology that can provide good care that costs less. Its user-friendly applications support informed decision-making across the NHS, and will help make the health service more effective and efficient."

Rob Forster, Wrightington, Wigan and Leigh NHS Foundation Trust’s acting chief executive, said: “HealthIntell has huge promise for the NHS as it creates the right tools for the job by using the right people with the right expertise. We are already delivering applications that are making a difference, with more to come.”

Among the launch suite of products is the HealthIntell Accident & Emergency (A&E) application. This will help hospitals to better cope with A&E pressures and meet waiting time targets by presenting real-time data on attendances in emergency departments to doctors and other decision makers.

The application can predict demand on a daily and hourly basis and allows trusts to use their own data to identify peaks and troughs – for example the likely rise in attendances due to bad weather or major sporting events.

Already in use at WWL, results delivered include a reduction in the average total length of stay in A&E from 160 minutes in April 2014 to 130 minutes in February 2015 – a drop of 18.75%, which is well within the four-hour target that was regularly breached across the NHS in the 2014/15 winter period.

These are great examples of data-driven healthcare that can be easily understood by frontline clinicians and senior managers alike, and empower them to make meaningful improvements across the hospital and to achieve efficiency savings targets.”

Information is presented in areas throughout the trust’s hospitals, including through a large 70-inch touchscreen installed in A&E, which helps ensure the right members of staff are available to meet demand, and the right numbers of beds available for those patients likely to be admitted.

Forster said: “At WWL we see 280 patients come into A&E every day, of which 60 will need a bed. To cope with this, and to adhere to waiting time targets, we realised that having an accurate picture of what is happening is crucial. We can now plan ahead to meet demand.”

Further launch products include an award-winning Devolved Financial Management procurement application, which aims to help the NHS with its challenge of managing budgetary constraints. This application presents budget holders with a simple view of expenditure across the organisation to highlight areas of concern and explain variances to enable a quick response. This is facilitated through features such as heat maps, monthly and yearly account headlines, staffing levels, and amounts of pay and non-pay spend. It also provides the capability, through a single platform, to analyse purchasing information including purchase orders and requisitions, invoices and approvers.

Its dashboard also removes the need to source information from multiple systems as all the data is clearly accessible via one portal. This can help to inform tendering activity, supplier negotiations and spend analysis reports to help make procurement more efficient.

Morris said: "These are great examples of data-driven healthcare that can be easily understood by frontline clinicians and senior managers alike, and empower them to make meaningful improvements across the hospital and to achieve efficiency savings targets.”

The development of the HealthIntell suite of products and collaboration between WWL and NHS SBS, has been shortlisted as a finalist in the Acute Sector Innovation category at this year’s HSJ 2015 Awards. The winner will be announced at the HSJ Awards ceremony on 18 November.

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