North of England Commissioning Support Unit will roll out its Raidr business intelligence software across 23 clinical commissioning groups in Yorkshire and Humber, as it expands its reach to 20% of English practices.

The CSU started developing the software using the QlikView platform five years ago, in its former guise as the North of Tyne primary care trust cluster.

Ian Davison, the CSU’s business information services director, told EHI he started work on the software in 2009 in an attempt to improve the business intelligence tools on offer to the then-PCTs.

“I looked to see what we were offering in the way of business intelligence, and I wasn’t satisfied that it was anywhere near as good as it could be.”

Davison said the Raidr software allows practices and CCGs to “slice and dice” their data to assess high-level trends using urgent, primary and secondary care information, as well as prescribing, quality and performance data.

“The NHS, like many organisations, is data-rich and intelligence-poor and our focus is on dealing with that.”

The software has replaced the previous “highly manually intensive” process of analysts producing individual reports by allowing users to self-search and access relevant information.

“We wanted to give people intelligence and insight at their fingertips when they want it, rather than the traditional type of delivery.”

Davison said the software allows practices to see high-cost patients and frequent users of other services to help determine whether interventions should be made.

CCGs can also use the software to look at variation across GP practices and address any areas of concern, he said.

Davison said the software has been designed by NHS information analysts who are used to receiving report requests, with input from clinicians to ensure

He said use of the BI software has expanded significantly in recent years, going beyond the CSU’s 13 CCGs to three in the northwest and two in Suffolk.

The software will also be rolled out to 23 CCGs across Yorkshire and Humber in early 2015, meaning 20% of all practices across England will have licences to use it.

Davison said one focus for improving functionality is integrating health and social care, with the CSU working with local authorities to gather their thoughts on how they could use the system.