The NHS Information Centre has done a partnership deal with SAS for a standardised data management system and unique business analytics platform.

The NHS IC says the deal will allow it to integrate, clean, manage and analyse information held on disparate systems more efficiently.

It should also enable it to automate the way information is managed and sent to trusts around the country, to inform better local decision making. And it will encourage the use of central governance and control over data stored across the NHS.

Chief executive Tim Straughan said: “Health services worldwide face three main challenges. Firstly, improving the quality of care to meet the expectations of patients; secondly coping with the economic downturn; and thirdly – the NHS IC’s – focus, having access to information and using it effectively to address the first two.”

Brian Derry, executive director of information services for NHS IC, told E-Health Insider: “We need to provide the best possible information to support frontline services that we can. It costs a great deal of money to collect data so it is incumbent that we get every ounce of value out of it.”

He continued: “The platform has been built, the hardware is in place and the software has arrived and the training programmes have been set which is a key driver in standardisation as we want people to develop skills that are transferable to different areas.”

It is now being trialled in three areas, workforce, prescribing and the production of a directory for NHS Choices, which will bring together hundreds of out of date directories from large acute settings to small GP surgeries to provide controlled, accurate and up to date information.

Derry added: “We did a lot of research and chose SAS because they provide an end to end solution that we need.

"The company has already had national and international success and continues to invest ion its own development of technology which is essential if we are to establish a long term relationship.”

Ian Manocha, managing director of SAS UK, said: “The NHS IC’s role is a critical element to the improved use of information across the NHS. SAS is proud to support this, as well as driving the use of analytics-based decision making to improve the health of people throughout England.”

Links: NHS Information Centre