Person centred care is enabled when information and technology is delivered in a way that allows us to get most value, Joel Haspel and Jessica Minikin write

Amongst the plethora of definitions of population health, the consistent theme that emerges is an approach to care that is person centred.

Jessica Minikin

Jessica Minikin

This requires service providers, clinicians, managers and leaders to put patients at the heart of decision making.

Here in the UK, we have a wealth of data available. But the old adage of the health and care system being “data rich and information poor” still applies and is too often held up as a reason why delivering person centred care is difficult.

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By analysing available data, clinicians in Rhode Island will be able to identify the interventions that are likely to deliver the best outcomes for their patients.

Much of the technology and analytics capability to transform data into information that drives pro-active, tailored, person centred care similarly exists in the NHS today.

The data to generate a person centred view exists. The analytics to turn that data into information exists. The technology to make the information accessible to the clinician at the right time exists.

‘Analysing data will help identify interventions likely to deliver the best patient outcomes’

So why don’t NHS clinicians benefit in the same way as their US peers? Why aren’t they better positioned to be at the centre of care?

What we can do

Nancy Mamo gives us some helpful advice. We already have the unique person identifier but it needs further uptake by acute providers and full adoption by social care providers.

Joel Haspel

Joel Haspel

She also recommends ensuring the analytics’ lens that is applied is informed by a thorough understanding of what information will be useful to clinicians and decision makers in a way that supports their workflow, rather than interrupts it.

This is already starting to happen. In one example, an NHS clinical commissioning group has implemented a solution that generates personalised point of contact alerts to the primary care staff to improve care during a GP visit based on the patient’s data and existing care pathways.

‘The NHS needs to overcome data sharing barriers’

This is a good start but to fully realise the benefits of population health analytics, like Rhode Island, the NHS needs to overcome the data sharing barriers Ms Mamo referenced and begin to generate new insights from large, secure datasets. Information and technology systems will not deliver this change in and of themselves.

We are people providing care to people and making decisions about people. When information and technology is designed and delivered in a way that allows us to get the most value out of that interaction, it becomes a true enabler to deliver person centred care.

Joel Haspel is partner and Jessica Minikin is director, both at GE Healthcare Finnamore.

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