How data can reduce visits to accident and emergency departments

08 Jul 2014

Last month, patient visits to hospital accident and emergency departments reached an all-time high – at a time of year known usually for its lower attendance figures.

In his post this month, Chris Spencer – EMIS Group CEO – explains via The Huffington Post how data can help reduce these figures by highlighting those most at risk of hospital admission so they can receive proactive, co-ordinated care.

Read an excerpt from the post:

In June 2014, hospital accident & emergency departments recorded their highest weekly attendance figures since records began. This unusual peak (figures usually dip in the summer) is a sign of the increasing strain facing the NHS, which is under huge financial pressure and shouldering the burden of an ageing population.

This statistic comes as your local GP approaches a deadline to sign up to a new initiative to identify those of us most at risk of unplanned admissions to hospital, and to co-ordinate our care more effectively in the community to avoid this.

The concept is welcome, but it has its doubters. Can such patients really be identified? Won't identifying them and paying more attention to their care just highlight more reasons they need to go to A&E? Won't this simply shift pressure from A&E departments to GP practices?

Nobody has a crystal ball - we won't know for some time whether this new focus on reducing unplanned admissions will work. But what I do already know is that data is the key to its potential success.

To read the article in full, click here.