The only way to make value-generating decisions is by deploying the broadest, most accurate and timely information possible

Value-based healthcare is touted as the strategy to help contain costs while improving patient outcomes. Making it a reality means that every clinician and manager must be empowered to make value-generating decisions, aka “decisions of value”.

The question is how best to deliver that empowerment.

An NHS Confederation report recently outlined changes that could improve the “decisions of value process”. Ideas included:

  • Creating quiet spaces for decision-makers
  • Helping clinicians to collaborate
  • Ensuring value is always ‘front of mind’

These ideas will help to improve the decision-making process, but will the output deliver demonstrable improvements in patient outcomes, financial efficiency and productivity?

We believe the only way to make more valuable decisions is to put much greater emphasis on data-driven, analytically tested decisions that use the broadest, most accurate and most timely information possible.

SAS case study: making the best use of 400 systems

SAS has helped Royal Brompton & Harefield Foundation Trust to make much greater use of its many data systems, deploying powerful SAS analytics to provide clinicians with valuable insights and predictions about each patient that enable better interventions and potentially more rapid diagnosis and treatment.

“The hospital has in excess of 400 data systems […] to capitalise on, so we can deliver services better suited to the individual needs of each patient. Evidence-based decisions that draw on all the available data are essential to achieving this,” explains Joanna Smith, CIO at the trust.

While the NHS Confederation’s report does note the need for better data, we believe it should be a far higher priority. Only by uncovering the hidden relationships in data relating to procedures, errors, clinical outcomes, disease trends, population dynamics and other issues can we get to the root of how best to drive patient value.

What’s achievable when NHS organisations are data driven is nicely illustrated by the work we have undertaken with one NHS Vanguard. The project involved showing them how to interrogate their data in order to build rich patient segmentations – not just clinical classifications – and then to create unique predictive models for each of those “clusters” to prevent these patients from becoming frequent flyers in A&E departments.

All this was achieved in a few minutes, using a SAS graphical, non-technical interface powered by our predictive analytic algorithms.

Read the Opinion Paper: The NHS Confederation’s Decisions of Value: a missed opportunity for change? Or visit sas.com to find out more.