Business Intelligence - from ward to board

Nottinghamshire Healthcare is a major provider of mental health and community health services. The Trust needed faster, more valuable reports from the clinical and corporate information held in its systems to help improve care and decision making, from ward to board level.

Nottinghamshire Healthcare had a goal to deliver its Business Orientated Reporting Information System (BORIS) project – the ability to pull together information from disparate systems and produce valuable, meaningful reports that would help monitor service performance, patient care and resources.

This information was held in several different systems, including:

  • SystmOne and RiO –  core electronic patient record (EPR) systems
  • Integra (Finance)
  • ESR (HR), and
  • Ulysses (Incidents & Complaints).

The big data challenge

Manually producing reports from all areas of the trust was resource intensive and time consuming for Nottinghamshire Healthcare. Andy Milsom, project manager at the Trust, said: “Previously, if clinicians wanted data on how their service was performing, they’d have to go to the analytics team and ask for a bespoke report to be created, which would have to be built manually, finding data from separate systems and combining it. Because of the volume of bespoke data it wasn’t clear what reports were of value, repeatable or even being used.” EMIS Health’s BI specialists worked with Nottinghamshire Healthcare to install and adapt EMIS Health’s existing standard dashboard solutions for these systems to meet the Trust’s priority requirements.

Smarter reporting

A crucial part of the project was the transfer of skills to the newly established BI team. Close partnership working with the Trust’s BI team meant that once the project was delivered from EMIS Health, the BI team had the self-sufficiency and in-house capability to continue developing the solution to meet the evolving demands of the Trust and incorporate additional data sources. Andy Milsom commented: “As well as the increased skills in the BI team, building on the solution provided by EMIS Health, our analysts will be able to replace many of the 100 ad-hoc requests for bespoke reports and other outputs they receive each month with interactive self-service dashboards, allowing users to gain valuable intelligence and insight themselves as they explore and interrogate the data.”

“Previously it could take a few days to produce bespoke reports whereas now it can be done in a matter of minutes”

Andy Milsom, senior project manager

Valuable insights at board and ward level

With information being pulled together from different systems into one central reporting system, Nottinghamshire Healthcare is now able to quickly and easily build its own reports and drill down into the data to really understand performance.

Andy Milsom commented: “At Board level, managers will be able to see summaries and reports on how the service as a whole is performing presented in a way that makes the data easy to understand and interpret – down to ward level where ward managers will see what is currently happening on their wards. They will all access the same data in a way tailored to their needs. By removing the arduous task of manual data collection and responding to ad-hoc queries, our informatics team is now able to focus on creating valuable and repeatable reports saving them significant time. Previously it could take a few days to produce bespoke reports whereas now it can be done in a matter of minutes. This in turn helps our clinical and managerial staff get access to their information quicker, helping them make faster, safer decisions when it comes to patient care and productivity.”