BJSS has re-engineered the data platform supporting Hospital Episode Statistics, reducing the data processing time from 20 days to five.

The Leeds-based company says it rewrote the entire processing application in 12 months to significantly reduce SQL code lines and replace a 500-step manual process with full automation.

The new platform has been live for two months.

HES processes more than 125m admitted patient, outpatient and accident and emergency records each year.

It ensures that hospitals receive payment for their services and is used for secure analysis of health trends, performance benchmarks, academic research and international comparisons.

The project brings the day-to-day maintenance of the HES data platform fully in-house within the Health and Social Care Information Centre, which previously worked with a third party provider.

Mike Buck, BJSS public sector practice lead, told EHI that by moving HES on to a more modern standard platform, they were able to train HSCIC internal staff to take over its day-to-day management.

“The main thing we did was worked with the team at the HSCIC and helped them to understand what they required. Knowledge transfer helped bring it back in-house, reducing cost and meaning they are no longer dependent on a third party,” he said.

Consultation with the HSCIC and the existing third-party provider at the start of the project revealed the most effective route would be to do a full re-write of the HES platform to give the information centre the flexibility it needed.

“It took three BJSS developers 12 months to replace the existing 3.5 million lines of SQL code and 500-step manual process running on six machines, with 100,000 lines of SQL code and a two-step automated process running on one machine,” said Buck.

The re-engineered platform has reduced the time taken for doing data upload and resolution from 20 days to five or less.

“The system we have left them with, because it’s re-written, is much faster and more flexible and getting into the data will become easier in the future,” Buck added.

NHS England announced “ambitious” plans in July for extracting a hugely expanded HES dataset from April 2014. This will ultimately be linked with a primary care dataset due to start being extracted from GP systems later this year, to create new Care Episode Statistics.

BJSS is also working with the HSCIC on building a new e-referrals service to replace Choose and Book next year and redeveloping the NHS data Spine, known as Spine2.

Buck said the company’s background is in financial services and commodities systems and those skills are transferring over to the NHS contracts.

The company has around 350 employees based mainly in Leeds and London.