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January 29, 2010

BI improves health of Wakefield NHS data

Out with Excel and in with IBM, Cognos and COA

By Vinod

Adopting business intelligence is helping Wakefield’s Primary Care Trust (PCT) gain a clearer picture of how it is performing across the district.

Before implementing a combined IBM, Cognos and COA business intelligence solution in October, NHS Wakefield District had to collate information from many different sources and data formats and display them in Excel. This was a time consuming process and made it extremely difficult to compare data across the district.

“We had a number of different systems and it was about bringing everything into one place, so we weren’t trying to merge information from different software packages. So we were keen to get a data warehouse in place,” said Gill Galdins, NHS Wakefield District’s director of corporate services.

The Trust has many different reporting requirements, from demographic information about the population to data on diagnosis and treatment of patients, which needed to be pulled together to present performance statistics to the Trust board.

Over time, the system will help the Trust uncover areas that are underperforming and compare the effectiveness of different approaches to addressing the problems. Ultimately, the aim is to improve services to its 321,000 citizens, for example, by analysing accident and emergency attendances and working out how to reduce unnecessary admissions. 

The COA-configured system enables data to be analysed in real-time and can be easily adapted to fulfil existing and future regulatory requirements.

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