NHS to improve data quality

21 May 2009 View Comments
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NHS staff
The NHS receives information from trusts around the country

The NHS Information Centre – which handles health information from all frontline services centrally – is improving the quality and delivery of its data.

The organisation is using supplier SAS to integrate data held on disparate systems to automate the way information is managed and sent to trusts around the country.

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Tim Straughan, the NHS Information Centre (IC) chief executive, said health services worldwide face three main challenges.

"Firstly, improving the quality of care to meet the expectations of patients; secondly coping with economic downturn; and thirdly - the NHS IC’s focus - having access to information and using it effectively to address the first two, " he said.

"The NHS IC recognises the need to make better use of information across the board to meet these challenges."

Improving the quality of the data will also help with the accuracy of analysis performed on it, which is key to better national-level decision making.

"To fully understand the effectiveness and efficiency of the NHS in providing high quality services we need to draw the data from different organisations, manage it correctly and analyse it," said Brian Derry, executive director of information services at the NHS IC.

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