Summary

How can we best support a range of NHS users with data for improvement in primary care? 

NHS Scotland has a core goal to systematically improve the quality, safety and efficiency of care. Having access to routine data can help with this goal through identifying areas for improvement, and assessing whether improvement efforts have made a difference. However, currently it can be difficult for clinicians and managers to access and use existing routine data for improvement. Within primary care for example, routine data such as how many patients are entitled to yearly flu vaccinations have received them; or how many patients have been prescribed a combination of medicines that needs to be reviewed by their GP; could be used to help drive improvement efforts for patient benefit and inform workflow planning. Current systems to help primary care health professionals view this data are less than ideal.

The aim of this study is to carry out a set of linked studies to (1) consult with primary care health professionals on their needs and requirements for data tools; and (2) develop and implement new systems of data exploration and analysis for clinicians and managers to use for improvement. The three studies addressing these aims are described in more detail below. 

1) Consult with primary care health professionals on their needs and requirements for data tools:GP clusters are typically groups of between five to eight GP practices from around the same area. The purpose of these clusters is to provide a means whereby GPs can participate in improvement activities with colleagues. In the clusters they also contribute to the oversight and development of care within the wider healthcare system. Interviews with GP Clusters in Fife will be conducted to understand how they currently use data, their experiences of access, what data they would like to have access to, and what kind of data presentation or analysis tools would be helpful to them.

2) Consult with primary care health professionals on their needs and requirements for data tools: The aim of this part of the project is to consult with primary care staff through interaction and co-design workshops to identify the functional requirements on what data should be available and how the data should be visualised. Co-design is an approach to design aiming to actively involve all users in the design process to help ensure the result meets their needs and is fit for purpose. Up to three workshops will be held.

The first workshop will focus on experiences of using data and data tools for improvement in primary care. Some of the currently available data tools will be shown and discussed. Attendees will also explore how, what, where and when a data tool is likely to be used, as well as listing features which they consider to be important for it to be used regularly. Findings from this workshop will be translated into an example data tool. 

At the second workshop, the example data tool will be presented. Attendees will be asked to provide feedback and work through user testing of the data tool. Attendees will also discuss in detail the type of data to be included in the data tool. Findings from this workshop will be translated into a refined example data tool.

At an optional third workshop the further developed example tool can be presented to attendees for additional thorough assessment. 

3) Develop and implement new systems of data exploration and analysis for clinicians and managers to use for improvement:

Current data visualisation tools are not used widely and improvements are needed to allow for general practice health professionals to efficiently and effectively use routine data. In collaboration with the current provider, Information Services Division (ISD), an improved and updated data visualisation tool will be developed based on the above work to fit in with current systems.   

The project is funded by Scottish Improvement Sciences Collaborating Centre (SISCC) and runs for 24 months, ending in June 2021. 

Contact

Eilidh Duncan; e.duncan@abdn.ac.uk
 

Status

Ongoing (Reporting)