Top view of a business team, hands at work with financial reports and a laptop

Building the business case, benefits and case studies of data sharing in a health and care sector

Introduction

In this step, we will explore the fundamentals for building a business case around improving data sharing and illustrate how potential and proven benefits can form part of that business case. For those not already aware a business case will look to prove the benefits of a project or initiative against the costs.

Example

Think about for example the monetary and time costs of delivering dental checks in schools against the longer term benefit of reducing the need for dental intervention. We weigh up both and make a decision. Often the payback will happen over a number of years and there are tried and tested methods to deal with that.

Data as an asset

However, this course is looking in more detail at the newer type of assessment that values the data collected as an asset and looks at the benefit the data can provide against the costs. The business case for data is often significantly enhanced if data is shared in line with the data spectrum. Re-using your data effectively helps create a more robust business case that can be more embedded into an organisation or group of organisations.

Data Costs

From a cost perspective we may consider the impact of having to make the data reusable in other formats (i.e. outside the system it was collected in), and the licensing considerations with being able to share the data. From a benefits perspective we can see that sharing the data can provide further benefits through analytics and making the data available to others who can use it.

We will now have a look at some examples that illustrate the benefit of data sharing as well as the open data concept. In all of these examples data has been shared with other organisations either securely with trusted partners or as more open and available data.

NHS Fife

Using electronic monitoring of deteriorating patients has been proven to improve outcomes and is supported by NHS Scotland’s national patient safety ambitions. NHS Fife has seen a significant reduction in cardiac arrests in one of its hospital’s busiest areas after deploying an electronic observations and early warning system. Using wearable technologies to record key data points including patient temperature, lying blood pressure, standing blood pressure, heart rate, respiration rate, AVPU (alert, voice, pain, unresponsive) and oxygen saturation and sharing that data for it to be analysed in real-time automatically as well as visibly to healthcare practitioners led to benefits in this example that were found to be numerous for the patient and for the healthcare service’s efficiency.

CitizenLab

Open data has numerous benefits as illustrated by CitizenLab where it creates opportunity, improves government, solves public problems and empower citizens. Often the benefits of data sharing are realised in crisis situations such as the disaster response to battling ebola where using an online platform and making the data available helped on the ground responders to deliver better care and for planners to deliver drugs to the right areas.

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This article is from the free online course:

The Power of Data in Health and Social Care

University of Strathclyde