ChallengeThe Mid Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust provides hospital and community health services across West Yorkshire. Timely access to high quality data is vital to ensure that the Trust and commissioners such as NHS England is able to plan and use resources effectively across the health system.
NECS supported Mid Yorkshire Hospitals in automating existing data processes within the hospital’s Patient Administration System. This included changing the frequency of admitted patient care and outpatient record datasets from monthly submission to weekly, in line with NHS England requirements. This data enables a range of reporting and analysis to support the NHS in the commissioning, planning, payment and delivery of healthcare services.
Concurrently, NECS also supported the upgrade of the Emergency Care Dataset (ECDS), enabling new data items to be captured or derived from Emergency Department data. ECDS data is used to understand capacity and demand in the planning of emergency service resource.
The commissioning dataset processes required automation to run on a weekly basis, as mandated by NHS England. The existing processes were very complex, both at a technical level linking with multiple internal trust systems and at a functional level with very little documentation or standardisation. As there was no test environment in place, live testing was carried out at each stage to mitigate delivery risks or service disruption.
The automation needed to be delivered in conjunction with updates to ECDS so that the trust could capture all necessary information for the collection and submission.
We were required to change a monthly process to a weekly data load without any disruption to the existing live service, as this would leave clinicians unable to access patient records and heavily impacting patient care. Our team ensured partner organisations, including third party system suppliers, were informed of all changes implemented to minimise any wider impact NECS initially needed to understand the existing Mid Yorkshire commissioning datasets processes to determine what could be automated. We then established a detailed plan to automate and streamline the monthly commissioning dataflow processes.
We worked closely with the customer and downstream service providers to enhance the existing processes to meet newly introduced NHSE standards, whilst automating the previously manual interventions. We also had to communicate planned configurations to the production environment, as there was no test environment, avoiding any major service degradation or disruption. We redesigned data structures and recoding data to ensure performance was not impacted. Successful implementation was made possible by performing system testing at each stage to check whether the code and requirements were in sync and without impacting service availability.
Working with the NECS team has been a breeze. Right away, it was clear that we spoke the same language and the team were able to hit the ground running. The NECS team have communicated well with our team and been able to work independently on really important projects and have delivered on key priorities for the Trust. When the team pick up a new task, I’m always confident that the end product will meet requirements, will be of a high standard and will have been built using a methodical approach. The team have a wealth of experience and technical knowhow, are professional and have a can-do attitude. I wouldn’t hesitate in recommending NECS’ support.
Jonathan Gee, Deputy Head of Information Services, Mid Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust
Despite the blocks and challenges experienced, NECS was able to deliver a solution that enabled a reduction in manual interventions and data quality checks. The implementation of the automated weekly data process released capacity of existing staff to focus on other data requirements. NECS was able to generate ECDS data extracts in line with the new NHS England standards without any major production issues.
The work was delivered in the agreed timeframe and we continue to support the customer in standardising remaining systems and processes, to ensure they are aligned to sync with the newly introduced system.
Download a pdf of the case study here: Supporting Mid Yorks Hospitals -Data Management Case Study