Data Architecture is often overlooked in informatics as something that is dull and ‘for geeks’. Far too often the source and structure of the data is side-lined to focus on trends and reporting. However, in my opinion (and it may well only be my opinion) if data architecture is improved, the analysis of information will be infinitely easier.
In East Kent we have historically struggled to pin down one version of ‘The Truth’, with live feeds from our Patient Administration System, overnight data warehouse extracts, validated/cleansed reporting datasets and that’s before we even get to SUS or HES extracts or the numerous ‘standalone’ databases that keep our analysts awake at night.
Through improved data architecture, savings will be made in data quality, time and resource, ensuring the data is more trusted and enabling analysts to analyse rather than reconcile. We will completely trust the data we are analysing and move to a world where our clinicians trust it too….hopefully anyway!
Time is currently being invested to ensure East Kent has one version of the truth that is accessible, quick, trusted and flexible to everybody’s needs. This will eliminate all other sources of data and create a solid foundation from which to evolve. We are currently working with our Finance colleagues to include Income and Costs at reconciled patient level, moving forward to ensure we use the CDS (a magical dataset that feeds SUS) as our core and link in patient outcomes to create a complete patient pathway.
Once successful other Trusts could adopt this model too, enabling the production of basic statutory returns which would create economies of scale and more freedom to analyse.
It is through improved data architecture that I believe we can help build an Analysis Mansion!