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Making the most of your organisation’s data.

Making the most of your organisation’s data.
How can health-care delivery or service provision be improved by data? Well, I think there’s many areas that data can help improve health-care delivery. I think the opportunities now across many, many sectors of using data to inform, to deliver insight, to predict, and almost prescript what may happen in a particular area. I think if you look from genome analysis right through to identifying patients at risk of developing complications, through to identifying individual gene types as an impact on treatment and personalised medicine. To how we can combine health data with other data about the individual to improve services and to help plan and ensure that we have a robust and supportive health-care delivery system going forward.
I think data’s essential to support health and care. And particularly the sort of interventions or improvements that are required. So I guess both from an opportunity for people to be able to see in real time. And I think the real time bit is really important as well. And to be able to consider the data in the context of a range of other factors. But to really use data as integral part of the information that is being considered to support service change, service intervention. And I think too often people either use it retrospectively or use it to reflect a bit of a story.
But actually I think it’s important to have it centre to the work and inform any decisions and investment. Well, first of all, I think we need to collect data. And we’re not particularly good at doing that yet. And once we’ve got the data we need to be able to process it effectively. Because just having data doesn’t actually make a difference to any individual, be you a patient service user, or a health-care professional. You have to turn that data into information. And do you think data has been used effectively for this sector just now? No. We’re getting better at it, it would be fair to say. But we’re not really mining that data.
We’re not using it even to make informed management decisions about service provision, let alone how we manage patients. And do you think people have the necessary skills to use the data? I think if we’re talking about health and care professionals, the answer to that is we’ve got pretty rudimentary skills. We are short of data scientists. We’re not training enough in Scotland. We’re not training enough globally. And we need to do more. But we also have to use digital tools and services which can actually help us analyse that data. We need to use artificial intelligence in ways that are meaningful. And we also need to explode the myths about artificial intelligence.
People get suspicious about it because they don’t understand the power of what it can actually do. And if used properly, it can simplify things, not over-complicate things.
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The Power of Data in Health and Social Care

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