NHS Wakefield District has invested in a business intelligence system from COA Solutions to generate benchmarking information about its local population and to comply with Department of Health and regulatory requirements.

The primary care trusts plans to make data from the system available to other commissioners in the area and, eventually, to the entire local health service and Wakefield Council. It says this will enable it to strengthen partnerships to improve the health and wellbeing of local people.

Head of information Rachel Spilsbury said: “It is a false economy to use quick fix, standardised business intelligence systems in response to specific regulatory reporting requirements.

“The COA Solutions system can be configured to report on all aspects of our performance, enabling us to fulfil both existing and future regulatory requirements. Importantly, by using the system, we will have an accurate and holistic view of the underlying needs of the Wakefield population.”

NHS Wakefield District’s information is currently held in multiple systems and displayed using Excel, which it says makes data time consuming to collect and difficult to compare. The new system is built from IBM, Cognos and COA Solutions software, and will allow users to analyse data in real time.

As well as benchmarking data, the PCT is looking to the new system to improve its World Class Commissioning Performance, to help it deliver on the DH quality, innovation, productivity and prevention agenda, and to help it comply with regulatory requirements.

The PCT says it is confident that the BI system will help it to move from level two to level three or four in the majority of the 11 competencies set for World Class Commissioners.

Spilsbury said: “We will be using the BI solution to highlight areas where we are currently underperforming. Staff will be able to access all types of information relating to childhood obesity, for example, and to analyse and report on this information in detail to understand the underlying factors influencing health outcomes.

“With this information to hand, commissioners can best decide how to tackle the issue. They will also be able to compare the effectiveness of different courses of action sot aht the most effective approach can be identified and best practice can be adopted.”

Another immediate area of focus will be reducing A&E attendances and expensive emergency admissions to hospital. NHS Wakefield District director of corporate services Gill Galdins said: “With the public sector focused on innovation and efficiency, working as cost effectively as possible is obviously a top priority.”

Links: COA Solutions.

NHS Wakefield District.