A healthcare system covering 800,000 patients in southern England is using advanced data analytics for over-stretched GPs to identify patient demand drivers.
Frimley Health and Care Integrated Care System (ICS) uses EMIS-X Analytics, an advanced data analytics platform from primary care software provider EMIS, tapping data from the local shared care record, aided by population health tools. Frimley is one of the first NHS organisations to use the cloud-based analytics suite of tools.
Trends noted by Frimley ICS include a 17 per cent annual rise in demand for primary care services across all patient groups – not just the elderly or those with acute conditions – and a tendency among 18-35-year-olds classed as ‘generally well’ to present directly to Accident & Emergency services, bypassing primary care.
Mark Sellman, chief information officer at Frimley ICS, explained: “The population demand we’ve identified is not isolated to deprived areas, from patients who have acute health concerns or those who are elderly, it’s an increase across the board.
“When you combine this with a reducing workforce and teams that have worked flat out during the pandemic, it’s perhaps not surprising that our GP practices are struggling. We want to wrap our arms around GP practices and use data to help. We want to do things differently to make it better for our practices and our patients.”
Sellman hopes to analyse what is causing the ‘generally well’, who should initially be treated within a primary care setting, to arrive in urgent care and what interventions GPs can put into place.
According to Frimley ICS’s head of analytics Alex Barnett, EMIS-X Analytics is opening a world of possibilities for Frimley’s population health management programme, allowing the ICS to to quantify in a meaningful way how demand from different segments of the population has changed over the course of the pandemic.
He added: “Most importantly, the insights we are generating resonate with the experiences of our clinicians on the ground and are inspiring a wealth of innovation.”
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