Data analysis saves £581M in efficiencies for the NHS

A rapid and large-scale analysis of billions of NHS data points has created significant cost savings for UK healthcare

Software solutions

 

The NHS Business Services Authority (NHSBSA), an arm’s length body of the UK Department of Health that provides support services to the NHS, has created £581 million of savings for the NHS by uncovering new efficiencies through data analysis.

Since deploying the Oracle Exadata database machine two years ago, the NHSBSA has been able to combine billions of data points on prescriptions, medicines, medical exemptions, doctor relationships and call centre services, which has enabled the wider healthcare system to provide better outcomes for patients.

The ability to manipulate and draw insight from patient data has also helped the NHSBSA to manage prescriptions more securely and fight the pressing issue of anti-microbial resistance. By providing accurate, reliable data back to clinicians and policy makers, the organisation has enabled antibiotic prescribing to be reduced by 7%.

To help reduce the financial burden on the UK’s health system, the NHSBSA set itself the goal of delivering £1 billion in savings for the NHS to reinvest in patient care by the end of 2018. The organisation set up an analytics lab, where it could consolidate its data, to uncover opportunities locked in this this information.

>See also: NHS staff personal data leaked in latest data breach

“The NHS sits on billions of data points that have the potential to deliver tremendous value to the wider healthcare system in the UK when combined and analysed effectively,” said Nina Monckton, chief insight officer at the NHSBSA. “The project was about working smarter and faster, reducing the risk of error in our operations and most importantly helping to present options to the wider NHS to enable it to deliver higher standards of patient care and better outcomes.

“In doing this we were able to uncover cost savings that will allow the UK healthcare system to invest even more funds into providing the best possible care. This is something we could never have done without significant processing power beyond what was available to us. Oracle Exadata has helped us make major headway so far, and we continue to uncover new ways to advise the wider NHS on improving the care it provides to patients each day.”

Dermot O’Kelly, senior VP for the UK, Ireland and Israel at Oracle, added: “Antimicrobial resistance is a major problem, not just in the UK but around the globe. The United Nations General Assembly unanimously agreed to tackle this issue just over a year ago, and by taking a data-driven approach to cut down the unnecessary use of broad spectrum antibiotics, the NHSBSA is showing the world how technology can help in the fight against over-medication and the rise of drug-resistant disease.”

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