Health Technologies

Niamh McKenna, CIO, on the potential of data and insights for NHS Resolution – htn

In May 2022, NHS Resolution published its ‘Advise, Resolve and Learn’ three-year strategy which lays out its strategic priorities, supported by data and insights.

The strategy sets out four main priorities: to deliver fair resolution, to share data and insights as a catalyst for improvement, to collaborate to improve maternity outcomes, and to invest in people and systems in order to transform business.

Talking to HTN, Niamh McKenna, Chief Information Officer at NHS Resolution, shared an update around elements on the strategy, including insight, safety, learning, data and digital tools to support.

Niamh said: “One of the strategic priorities for NHS Resolution is around insight – helping the system to learn from our data. So having the right data, the right people and ability to analyse the data is key to support us achieving this aim. Some of the things we want to do is to provide better tools and information to our claims handlers, so they have the right information in order to be able to bring a case to successful resolution, whatever the outcome might be.

“Another key focus is around safety and learning, we want to make sure we learn from the causes of harm and use this to support patient safety across the NHS.  So one thing we have done is provide easier access to the information our staff need for their thematic reviews, for example it used to take them months to gather together several relevant cases in order to then analyse those and come up with recommendations and now it is much faster. This tool – similar to Google – allows people to just go in and type in something that they want to search for it and return all the documents put into that search term.

“Our legacy systems relied on users categorising documents and then you’re able to search on those categories but, of course ,that depends on people putting in the right categories and also there might be search terms that you now want to look at that you didn’t know about at the time. Cauda Equina is a good example of something that we want to look at from a learning perspective but it’s not a category of claim and therefore being able to search for terms like this quickly and easily has been revolutionary.

“In addition to these types of projects, we are also trying to work more closely with colleagues across the system for example we’re doing a project at the moment with a hospital trust to look at the relationship between their data and ours to see if we can get to better insights together.

“If I had a magic wand (setting aside any data sharing constraints!), I would love to have the most amazing, big data lake/ warehouse whatever you call it, with all of the information that we need in one place. We obviously hold a lot of useful information but there’s other information out there in the wider system that I think would be really helpful to us such as incidents, complaints data, hospital staffing levels, and all sorts of other information. Basically the information at our fingertips with easy access for everyone in the business to just get whatever they need … so they could just come and click on whatever they wanted, and of course accompanied by incredible data visualisation tools as well.”

To find out more on the NHS Resolution strategy, please click here.

Previously, as part of the HTN Interview Series, we spoke with Niamh to discuss her tips for applying to leadership roles and her learnings so far.

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