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NHS South Central poised to launch online decision support

Tash Shifrin

An online decision support system for 330 GP surgeries across Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire is about to be rolled out by the NHS’s South Central strategic health authority.

The system is being installed to support practice-based commissioning – a government policy aimed at shifting healthcare commissioning decisions away from large, geographically based primary care trusts and into the hands of local GP practices.

The online service, dubbed the Thames Valley Data Warehouse, is designed to give existing NHS commissioners and GP practices secure, unlimited access to patient-level data and reports through a web browser.

The aim is to support decision-making under the new practice-based commissioning regime and to help GP practices develop their commissioning processes and manage budgets more easily.

The system is built from the SQL Server-based Healthware datawarehousing solution and a specialised reporting application, both provided by healthcare business intelligence specialist Ardentia. It will be hosted by the NHS’s Buckinghamshire Shared Services organisation and is set to go live next month.

Data on more than 2.2 million patients will be uploaded into the warehouse and updated monthly. The system will also show each GP practice’s allocated commissioning budget against the amount spent, providing an early warning of overspends and helping GPs plan services.

NHS senior manager Malathi Reddy added, “The Thames Valley Data Warehouse works hand in hand with emerging NHS Connecting for Health systems, and fulfils the key CfH objective of enabling fast access to patient data for clinicians and analysts.”

 

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