This blog describes how Qubix’s Q.health Advanced Analytics solution uses Oracle Analytics Cloud and Autonomous DW platforms to provide “Ward to Board” Analytics, and some results we achieved at Gloucester NHS Trust.
For the NHS, improved technology is a critical driver towards improved efficiency and better patient outcomes. Health Secretary Matt Hancock announcing: “Better tech [is] not a ‘nice to have’ but vital to have for the NHS.” (emphasis ours)
However, NHS organisations such as Hospital Trusts have experienced difficulties that prevent them from extracting value from their data. NHS Trusts are complex entities with many different source systems, a substantial proportion of which are old and isolated, and often use different methods of representing the same data, such as a patient record.
Trusts have made an investment in Analytics, but these have tended to be made tactically on individual solutions. This has resulted in a proliferation of different technologies, excessive legacy and technical debt, and a lack of a unified, combined data store. This situation creates downstream impacts, such as capability issues like the inability to create a coherent security model across the data. Also, organisational issues such as inefficient working practices caused by excessive manual effort to combine data and create reports. Combined, all these issues limit both the adoption of Analytics, and the value that it can generate for the organisation.
Qubix examined this problem domain and worked with Gloucester Care Services NHS Trust, NHS Improvements and other bodies to develop a solution. We determined a platform approach was required to solve these identified issues, and to allow NHS Trusts to begin to maximise the return from their data assets. The Q.health Solution integrates:
- Oracle Autonomous Data Warehouse (ADW): which we found provided high performance for mixed workloads, and required zero tuning time.
- Oracle Analytics Cloud (OAC), which offers extensive capabilities for analysis and visualisation of data.
- Qubix ‘CloudBridge’ Integration built on Oracle’s Cloud PaaS platform.
Outcome: a 100% cloud set-up which could replace all a Trust’s tactical analytic solutions over time.
The Q.health solution includes a Healthcare data model for the warehouse with pre-built integrations and transformations. The allows the Trusts to be setup and running with data from multiple data sources in weeks rather than the months or years that is typical for design and build of large warehouses. Further, such integration allowed incremental ETL, real-time and on-demand data flows and incorporates matching capability to align patient record keys (and other data types).
Metrics and KPIs were designed with NHS Gloucester to ensure the solution tracked Trust Performance over broad operational areas, such as patient outcomes and safeguarding. All aspects of the solution, including data model, integrations, metrics, KPIs are extensible by customers.
Pre-built Operational Dashboards allow hospitals to manage areas effectively
Qubix researched how Trusts could derive the most value from their data assets and created pre-built content that allows them to get value without additional spend. Financial reporting is of paramount importance, and it provides drill-down to the lowest level of transactional detail. Also catered for is the ability to represent data in different views or hierarchies such as by Diagnostic Related Group. Combined, financial data, roster and operational data can now help answer critical questions such as “What would a change of staffing due to throughput, and what would be the financial impact be?”.
We worked with NHS Improvements to build-in ‘Plot the Dots’ Statistical Process Control (SPC) operational reporting – eliminating the manual effort previously required to achieve this. SPC can have a marked benefit to managing operations, especially in the diverse environment of a modern Hospital Trust, and can drive improved financial and operational outcomes; Gloucester Trust has been a big adopter.
SPC Charts with icon tiles allowing users to control operations easily
Hospitals have struggled to get widespread adoption of analytics tools. Often non-cloud per-user pricing models made it cost-prohibitive to deliver full self-service analytics, so the insight was restricted to Finance and Reporting/Improvement departments. OAC’s consumption model removed the barrier to adding users as there is no additional cost per-user. We have also found Oracle Data Visualiser (DV) makes a significant contribution to adoption by providing an analytics tool that is capable while being genuinely intuitive to use. Gloucester achieved an active user base of over 600 users within a few months of go-live which is still growing.
We used the collaboration function in Data Visualizer to build ‘project analytics’, focussing on a specific area of the Hospital’s operations. One such project examined breaches to the MIU (A&E) department’s 4-hour discharge target. It allowed Gloucester Trust to understand the underpinning causes of breaches, effectively target improvements, and closely track the results of these interventions.
Since the Q.health solution integrates an integrated cloud technology platform, a coherent security model is created across this. This has all the functionality to protect sensitive data, such as patient record, HR, and cost centre. Gloucester had this system’s security audited by PWC, and it passed with no changes required.
The platform has advanced analytics features, and we have used the Q.health Analytics product to speed the adoption of these. For example, we have demonstrated how the Machine Learning (ML) accelerators in DV can help analysts to become familiar with ML techniques without a steep learning curve. We have built ML capability into Q.health to show how ADW can be used to construct advanced ML models that can be incorporated into business processes to provide advice and predictions. Gloucester Trust is piloting the ML predictions in A&E patient attendances.
The bottom-line is the Q.health Analytics solution provides an affordable, future-proofed analytics platform supplying “ward to board” analytics that can have an immediate impact on the decisions made in financial, operational, and patient outcome areas.
Visit Q.health Analytics Homepage: https://www.qubix.com/healthcare/analytics