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Unifying Healthcare Data: CCGs and Digital Roadmaps

Tuesday 9 February 2016

Across the country, healthcare organisations are benefitting from the implementation of agile and intuitive BI solutions. Software of this kind can aid the process of data analysis and discovery for NHS organisations by unifying healthcare data – disparate data sets can be joined up easily and effortlessly, without the need for specialists or trained data analysts.

With the deadline for the submission of CCGs’ digital roadmaps looming, we’ve taken a look at the current issues facing these organisations and how BI software can help.

The current condition of CCGs

CCGs are currently responsible for 60% of the NHS budget (about £60 billion a year!) and primarily provide healthcare commissioning such as elective hospital services, mental health services and community care.

In a supporting role, Commissioning Support Units (CSUs) provide additional resources to these organisations in areas of clinical commissioning including contract management and negotiation, financial management and, most significantly, business intelligence.

Recently, however, CSUs have found themselves under threat from a new Commissioning Support Lead Provider Framework (LPF). According to National Health Executive, three private sector bids have recently been approved by NHS England to join the new LPF – at the expense of two NHS CSUs.

The LPF enables CCGs and the NHS ‘to source some or all of their commissioning support needs, ranging from transactional back office support services to more bespoke services that support local and large scale transformational change projects.’

With the future of CSUs uncertain, CCGs could potentially find themselves under increasing pressures to deliver timely results with less support – for some requirements, these organisations will now be able to appoint their own internal staff and implement external solutions of their own choosing.

CCGs and healthcare technology

CCGs are expected to submit digital roadmaps – plans for how their local health and care economies will achieve the ambition of being paper-free at the point of care by 2020 – by the end of June this year. Despite the fact that this deadline was recently extended from April, it could still be a tall order for many CCGs yet to address this requirement.

Why are digital roadmaps important?

We can buy watches that measure how many steps we take and we can control our central heating from our mobile phones. The global internet population now represents 2.4 billion people. Yet healthcare seems to have been trailing its feet behind this revolution.

Upon recognising this, at the end of 2015 George Osbourne commented that ‘the government will invest £1bn in new technology over the next five years to deliver better connected services for patients and ensure that doctors and nurses have the information they need at their fingertips.’

Following this, Beverley Bryant, the current director of digital technology (NHS England), has recently commented that ‘CCGs have been chosen to lead on the roadmaps because they are best placed to manage the health economy and drive a focus on interoperability.’

Thus we find ourselves on a slow road towards digitalised healthcare in the UK, but what does this mean for the forerunners of this process – CCGs?

Unifying healthcare data with CXAIR

big data healthcareData has only ever been as good as the intelligence we can glean from it.’ So that famous saying goes…

Enter CXAIR! There are many ways in which BI software can help CCGs prepare their data and submit their digital roadmaps by the given deadline, including collaborative data integration and reporting which can join disparate data sets.

A case study written by Building Better Healthcare demonstrates the potential of BI software in unifying healthcare data and providing detailed, useful insights from the information.

The software was recently implemented at Sirona Care and Health, and Richard Tarring of the organisation has spoken of the benefits of implementing CXAIR as their BI solution: ‘Sirona now has the building blocks to rebuild reports from other systems that may be unfamiliar to us, which will help the CIC to successfully bid to run more community services as it presents a more cost-effective model that better serves patients.

‘More broadly, we now have a project approach that can be used in the future, one that is based on flexibility, agility and unorthodox routes to effective and rapid collaboration with innovative and supportive parts of the healthcare technology marketplace.

‘The NHS has seen some big IT disasters in the past and so even though this is a relatively small win, it is a definite win.’

Every little helps, as that other saying goes…

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