Covid has put huge strains right across the service and has spotlighted practices no longer fit for purpose. Too often throughout the NHS we still rely on throwing manpower at problems and we trust data received from outdated Excel spreadsheets to manage hospital-wide tasks. This must change! As the Secretary of State mentioned; Better tech: is not a ‘nice to have’ but ‘vital to have for the NHS’. We must start basing decisions on accurate, timely, validated data for hospital management as well as patient care.

Data – turning a liability into an asset

As we know, with any digital transformation comes the reliance on the underlying accuracy of the data – the old adage rubbish in, rubbish out comes to mind. And as Gartner states, Data and analytics are crucial for digital transformation. Currently, data for elective waiting lists is collected from the PAS and sent to all the various specialties for manual input and validation, and large Excel spreadsheets criss-cross the Trust for checking and cross-checking and are eventually compiled into a single statutory RTT report for the Centre and Board use. Not only is this hugely time-consuming, but the probability of error at any stage of input or code checking is substantial. One Trust found 5,000 patients were missing from their old PTL!

If Trusts are to design precise Covid recovery plans it is no longer acceptable to wait 11 or 14 days for a single report before putting strategies and critical care plans in place, or to overburden the workforce by manually producing the daily reports requested by the Centre. Trusts need real-time, accurate insight of potential 18-week and 52-week breaches and especially any critical respiratory or cancer care interventions under threat. Patient Pathway Plus (PP+) enables a Trust to turn their data from an operational error-prone liability into a Board-level asset.

Data automation – the opportunity is now

The NHS is under huge pressure at the moment and the need to increase staff efficiency, improve data accessibility and accuracy is critical now. As Jayne Harris, Head of Delivery and Transformation, Group Elective Access, the Northern Care Alliance NHS Group stated; “Why go back to normal when normal wasn’t working.”

Patient Pathway Plus – the right product, in the right place, at the right time

Validated data on which to base deployment of stretched resources is vital as more people queue up for treatment and those with critical clinical needs get lost in the morass of greater numbers. PP+ gives Trusts a consolidated, accurate view of their waiting list backlog across all elective care, not just RTT, and across all specialities, showing the full scale of the problem. By incorporating clinical priorities, it allows the Board to plan and redeploy services against greatest need.

Data is often siloed against specialty, so interventions on one departmental system rarely tie up with updates on another and the central PAS/EPR records often get out of synch. Multiple Excel spreadsheets are often used to validate, track and plan the progress of treatments and interventions. Unfortunately, manual data entry is error prone and not synchronised. PP+ is a very powerful data platform that connects directly with the source systems and PAS to extract, process, validate and unify data automatically. Through automated data pipelines and a complex set of rules-based, data validation processes PP+ provides a ‘single version of the truth’ across the whole Trust and shows the precise status of electives waiting for treatment at any point in time.

Data standardisation and the need to automate disparate data sources and data flows is a critical foundation for an interoperable NHS. PP+ provides a transparent, evidence-based data management platform that enables Trusts to manage their patient pathways and pathway processes throughout the organisation. Being a centralised digital hub, it is perfectly suited for workforces distributed across organisations and locations, including those working remotely as a result of Covid restrictions.

PP+ is the right product, at the right place, at the right time as it provides the underpinning unified data layer for all key Trust processes and forms the foundation for true interoperability.

Delivering ROI in 3-4 months

PP+ not only provides an accurate, on-demand data source for timely decision making but also saves money by eliminating all Excel and manual processes and releasing staff for other functions. As an out-of-the-box solution, which is totally configurable to local nuances, it can be installed within one week, fully implemented in three weeks and delivering ROI within 3-4 months.

Evidence-based data platform – a strategic solution for Trust-wide services

PP+ is a powerful solution targeted at alleviating the problems of elective waiting list management. The solution takes data from multiple provider systems and ensures data standardisation using NHS data dictionary formats. Its interactive data unification capabilities show full data lineage for audit tracking. Plus, its in-built data quality checks up to 1 million/day, ensures complete data integrity within the system so the Trust Board can be fully confident that the data they are interrogating is fully accurate and up to date.

PP+ provides Trusts with, not just a data dump as with data warehousing solutions, but an interactive, evidence-based data source that can incorporate all local DNA rules and business configuration policies. PP+ is a strategic solution that addresses today’s pressing challenges whilst providing a data foundation for future applications expansion.

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