The Challenge

Healthcare practitioners follow best evidence and treatment guidelines to maximise the effectiveness, safety and cost-effectiveness of care. However, it can be difficult to keep up with all current guidelines, evidence, price shifts, and safety alerts.

The Solution

Led by Charles Drury, Clinical Lead for Frailty at OxFed, this Catalyst project will harness data to identify variation from best practice in care provided by GP practices, and use this to help clinicians improve patient management and use stretched NHS resources more rationally.

Working with DataLab, they will use patient records from a network of over 300 practices across England to build a suite of feedback tools and dashboards. They will produce comprehensive measures of compliance against specific guidelines, using this routinely collected data, and provide feedback directly to practices.

The tools aim to:

  • Identify patients who have, and have not, been treated in line with best practice
  • Inform practices how they compare to best practice and their peers on an easy-to-use dashboard, and allow them to easily identify the patients who may benefit from review
  • Use intelligent filtering to only inform clinicians about the most important issues
  • Measure the impact of this feedback on patient care

Crucially, they will develop and share all the tools and insights as open source, meaning that the software, dashboards, and technical insights will be accessible to all, to help build capacity for applied data science across the whole system of healthcare.

Impact and Outcomes

The dashboards and insights will inform doctors how their clinical practice deviates from best practice over time, across a range of patients.

Where appropriate, patients will benefit from care more closely aligned to guidelines and evidence, supporting better outcomes. Stretched NHS resources will be better utilised, with fewer unneeded consultations, prescriptions and tests, freeing up capacity for under-resourced issues.

Catalyst Project Team

Project Lead: Charles Drury, OxFed Health and Care Ltd

Academic lead: Ben Goldacre, The DataLab, University of Oxford

DataLab team: Helen Curtis, Alex Walker, Seb Bacon, Dave Evans

DataLab/NHS Devon CCG: Richard Croker

RCGP RSC team: Simon de Lusignan, Julian Sherlock, Manasa Tripathy, Filipa Ferreira