Intelligent insight to inform integrated decision making

Despite the best efforts of local providers, feedback on health and care services can often be disparate and disconnected. Swamped in data there is often a lack of intelligent insight. The vision for Integrated Care Systems (ICS) is to remove traditional divisions between hospitals and family doctors, between physicians and mental health, and between NHS and Council Services. To do this effectively shared insight from patients and the populations they serve will be critical.

A core capability of strategic communication is the ability to listen, gather evidence and develop insight that will then help to inform decision making and affect behaviour change. Insight is the capacity to develop an accurate and deep understanding of our audiences. To unearth a truth that will help to change behaviour and inform the way we communicate.

In healthcare, this is vital – failing to listen to understand and to develop accurate insights from the data we have available to us results in harm! It can also result in costly change programmes that are poorly executed, it breeds distrust and it disengages loyal colleagues and partners. Our challenge is that whilst we drown in data, our insights are inadequate.

ICS boards under the new guidance from NHSE will be required to demonstrate how they use public involvement and insight to inform decision making.

Here are eight major benefits of a systemwide patient and population insight programme:

  1. Safety – insights from patients and residents will identify themes and trends across a whole healthcare system. Analysing trends and data simply at a provider level could fail to pick up systemic issues that fall between the provider cracks.
  2. Governance – clinical leaders need to report to a tapestry of forums and committees, having a systemwide insight approach will help reduce the reporting burden. It will also give executive and non-executive leaders an essential mechanism to give them oversight and the knowledge with which to make informed decisions.
  3. Health inequalities – reducing variation in health and wellbeing outcomes requires data, including data from seldom heard groups. Using this data to develop insights can help to mitigate against exacerbating inequalities and can ensure appropriate steps are taken to improve healthcare.
  4. Value for money – the ability to gather insights at the ICS level will aid targeted decision making, will make the best use of limited resource and will have the biggest impact on patient and resident experience.
  5. Risk management – having the capability to gain accurate and actionable insights at a system level will help to inform early warning systems, identifying issues that can be addressed together, with partners, as opposed to in isolation.
  6. Swift action – being intentional and strategic about how you gather patient insight can mean that you can react collaboratively to feedback and data in real-time.
  7. Service transformations – integrated care is intended to help resolve issues of disjointed provision, gaining information and insight about service transitions will be critical to enhance the patient experience.
  8. Prioritisation of care – different populations have different needs. The premise of ‘place’ based care is intended to give vulnerable people the care they need where they are, through deep insight and understanding of their needs and experience.

Providers are already making progress towards effective, collaborative working arrangements, if you would like a conversation about how effective population and patient insight can help you succeed, please get in touch.