Update on the workstreams: audit and data

21 Aug 2020

This workstream has been busy over the past months. Initially led by Dr David Rog, Prof Jeremy Hobart and Joela Mathews, the team has been joined by Michael Paisey (acting as a part time project manager) and Joanna Hutchings (NIHR pre doctoral fellow) who is skilled in data analysis.

The team are working on the development of:

Preparing for launch: new dashboard!

We are excited to announce the development of a brand new data dashboard. The workstream has been creating the dashboard with IQVIA, with funding from Roche. A first iteration is expected to be available from November this year.

Unlike other dashboards, which are held by Industry and can produce static reports on request, this dashboard is interactive and accessible to individual healthcare professionals. It will allow you to ask questions of the data in real time, and compare your data with that of other Trusts.

It will be flexible and adaptable to local practices, initially drawing on hospital episode statistics (HES) data. This is generated through the hospital codes allocated to each patient's individual circumstances, detailing the primary, secondary, and any additional reasons for their hospital visit, whether it is a planned or emergency admission, the length of their stay, and so on. There are hopes that later iterations of the dashboard may allow other streams of data, such as Blueteq, to be added.

The next step in development is to carry out data validation in local areas. Those clinicians who volunteered for the workstream will be asked to support this, considering usability and key outputs required to make the product useful (known as the 'Minimum Viable Product outputs'). They will also be asked to consider where there might be issues in coding practices, and how practices might change to give the truest possible picture in numbers.

A functional dashboard will be presented at the November meeting this year, with hopes that it will be available for wider use soon afterwards.

New MS services database

The level of data we are gathering across various Trusts both in terms of information about their services, and anonymised Blueteq data, is getting a little wild and unwieldy for the humble spreadsheet.

The data and audit workstream has been working together to look at the best options to handle the size of the data as it is, and as it hopefully grows to include more and more Centres.

The hope is that the database will provide a formal source of information for UK-wide MS services, able to be used alongside other existing streams of data such as the MS register and Blueteq. Hopefully, it will enable clinicians to ask better questions of available data, identifying what services are and are not available in different areas, and helping shed light on where improvements can be made.

Analysis of current services audit

Using the data supplied by many of you from the service audit questionnaires and anonymised Blueteq data, the team are working on a status report detailing initial set of insights into current service configuration, working practice, and medication use in the UK.

Joela, who is the only professional with access to the Blueteq data itself, has been working closely with Joanna to ensure that as much information can be gleaned from the data gathered as possible. The report will be shared with everyone at November’s meeting.

Alongside the written report, the data gathered is also going to be displayed in a visual map. This will show where the prescribing Centres are, the various boundaries of NHS organisations like clinical commissioning groups (CCGs), integrated care partnerships (ICPs), NHS regions and so on, as well as which Centres are currently engaged with this work, and where our gaps in data are.

All of this data will be able to be viewed alongside MS Academy surveys during the pandemic looking at practice and service user views, giving a more robust picture of services at present. It is also hoped that more Centres will share information with the workstream, adding to the national picture over time.

Encouraging excellence, developing leaders, inspiring change

MS Academy was established five years ago and in that time has accomplished a huge amount. The six different levels of specialist MS training are dedicated to case-based learning and practical application of cutting edge research. Home to national programme Raising the Bar and the fantastic workstream content it is producing, this is an exciting Academy to belong to.