I hear all too often that it takes some organisations weeks, in some cases over a month, to prepare accurate management information reports and that usually boils down to the lack of trust in the data that is made available this purpose. Typically, with timescales like this, the opportunity to act on any learnings discovered from the reports has somewhat passed, making them almost unfit for purpose.

Business Intelligence (BI) is nothing new, but like machine learning and AI, it is only useful if the data quality is there to start with. ‘Rubbish in, rubbish out’ is the term quite often used to explain why reports are inaccurate.
There are several great BI products and tools available that when setup correctly, can help to present Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) and reports in real-time using BI dashboards.

So, we are all familiar with the term ‘dashboard’ on a car and how we rely on this to tell us when something is wrong This fundamentally allows us to make an informed decision on whether to keep driving or to take alternative action. Well, KPI and reporting dashboards provide us with exactly this, the ability to make decisions on how we ‘steer’ an organisation and whether we should continue as planned or take a ‘detour’.

Leveraging high quality data combined with real-time BI dashboards provides us with the ability to deliver high-quality care for patients, effective and efficient services adapting and responding to the changing needs of both our patients as well as the overall service.

After all it’s important we understand what is working well within a service and areas for improvement, continuously reviewing and improving, meeting expectations of both patients and commissioners.
So how do we improve data quality?

From experience this is achieved by incorporating data quality and integrity checks as part of Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) combined with both the integration and implementation of a BI solution. such as Microsoft PowerBI or Tableau.

Audits are quite often seen as a good method to check data quality and although these will continue to have their place, they can only identify issues with data quality after the event which leaves the risk of poor data quality driving live reports and dashboards.One of the key benefits of having live dashboards is that teams recording the data can now visualise the data aggregated in a different way. When built correctly, these live dashboards provide the same team the ability to quickly identify an issue with the data through a data quality dashboard. By incorporating these checks as part of SOPs we can ensure identification of data quality issues is a lot faster than through traditional methods, improving the data quality of the dashboards and KPIs which are immediately available to key stakeholders.

We at HomeLink Healthcare understand the importance of having high quality, timely and accurate management information available when it’s needed and work closely with our customers and partners to adapt reporting and KPIs throughout the life of a contract to deliver a safe, high quality, effective and efficient service at all times, helping to improve patient flow.

Nigel Clark, Chief Information Officer, HomeLink Healthcare


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