Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust has said that implementing a user driven business intelligence system has allowed it to save the equivalent of more than 25% of its bed capacity.

The hospital, which signed a £1m contract with QlikView for its Business Discovery system, has rolled it out to 500 consultants and a further 500 senior and middle managers.

The system pulls information from the hospitals’ 43 IT systems via a web browser and allows users to analyse the data through hundreds of specified metrics.

The trust lists the benefits as securing savings equivalent to more than a quarter of its bed capacity, reducing clinical variation, enhancing staff retention, and improving patient outcomes.

Dr Gareth Goodier, chief executive of the trust, said that the tool democratises data and present information in a way that is as “easy to use as Google.”

He added: “Clinicians now own the data and can see everything that is available to management.

"Therefore decisions on changes, improvements or even planned cuts no longer have to be subject to a ‘top slicing’ approach. We can accurately target efficiencies where they will have minimal impact on patient outcomes.”

The trust said that one example of how the system has facilitated change is in its ability to optimise bed use because processes and outcomes can be compared with other hospitals.

For example, a patient with a broken femur should be in theatre within 12 hours and should then see a physiotherapist within two days so that they are out of hospital within four days.

The technology can prompt each stage of the process. Cambridge claims some hospitals could take up to 28 days to treat the same condition.

QlikView allows the trust to analyse its data by condition, patient, age and consultant, for financial information, staffing and HR. It also enables regular patient satisfaction data to be gathered and ward and clinic levels.

Dr Goodier added: “Some of our infrastructure dates back to the early 1990s and we certainly have no better IT than the average hospital.

“What QlikView does is to sit over all these systems and turn our somewhat antiquated systems into the most advanced and most accessible information service I have ever seen.”