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How the East Midlands used data to make massive strides in patient care

The Greater East Midlands (GEM) Commissioning Support Unit (CSU) has announced it is exploring new ways of analysing data in order to serve patients better.

GEM hopes that its deployment of business analytics software Tableau will also help find cost savings, drive efficiencies and make tightening budgets stretch further by providing the organisations it supports with the information they need to make important commissioning decisions.

CSUs were set up to help Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) provide customer-focused, efficient and locally-sensitive services.

GEM is one of the largest of these units in the country, serving 20 CCGs with a population of around 5m.

It is working with business analytics software firm Tableau Software with the aim of enhancing its analysts’ ability to explore, compare and communicate NHS performance data faster.

To do this, GEM has begun deploying Tableau and integrating visual analytics into the GEM Information, Management and Analysis platform (GEMIMA).

The software firm claims this will allow the GEM to quickly and accurately review levels of activity and cost against plans, while forecasting how changes will impact frontline healthcare provision.

Tableau “supports best practice”

Tableau also says it software will make it easier for GEM to identify problems, explore alternate scenarios and share best practice across the CCGs it supports.

“We have a strong track record for innovation and have harnessed the latest technologies on [our platform] to provide customers with a secure, accessible tool to review, share and interpret reliable and time data sources,” claimed Dave Marsden, director for IT services at GEM.

“The software is so intuitive that it provides the option for people to self-serve and probe their own data. This not just delivers significant time savings, but may well provide new insights that can benefit other CCGs,” he added.

“Data is only really useful if you can extract meaning and insight from it. GEM is making it simple and fast for CCGs to make informed decision because they can see and understand the data with Tableau,” claimed James Eiloart, EMEA vice president at the software company.