NHS Western Isles is working with other Scottish health boards to expand its range of business intelligence dashboards.

The health board is also developing mobile access to its QlikView BI system to support mobile working.

Western Isles has already implemented dashboards for waiting lists, outpatients, theatres, inpatients, ward statistics, off-island patient flows, primary care, and A&E as part of a national drive to upgrade BI analytics capabilities across Scotland.

The board’s head of health intelligence Martin Malcolm said one of the most useful dashboards has been for primary care, making it easier to share information across the isles’ “very disparate and remote” GP practices.

Western Isles is now working with other health boards in Scotland to develop dashboards “that we’re particularly keen to have a shared solution for”.

Following the first phase of the deployment, it is “mapping functionality” on to the existing dashboards to determine what it could do next.

Among the proposals is the development of further mobile dashboards to enable remote access to information.

“We’ve done some for iPads but there’s more we could do that would provide wider access,” he said.

Malcolm said the upgrading of its BI capabilities started a few years ago when information being provided to requesters was often out of date or “not quite what they were after”.

“We really needed to make the best use of analysts’ time as possible, by allowing the consumers of data to interact with the information a bit more,” he said.

The QlikView dashboards have provided a “less traditional and more intuitive data architecture” which allows users to look into the data themselves and gives them a sense of ownership.

The system also provides more real-time data, while making it easier for people to use without the help of analysts.

“People can look at one point, such as hospital inpatient activity, then look at theatre out of a different data source; it takes straight them to it while holding the same filters and parameters,” Malcolm explained.

Reseller Trustmarque worked with Western Isles to implement the dashboards and provide advice.