Many benchmarking tools rely on HES data which usually takes up to three months to be published. This means that by the time the data is in the dashboard, any action taken to address any variation is reactive and the situation could have deteriorated further. The faster a hospital trust can act, the better.

Dr Foster has set out to address this challenge with its next generation of benchmarking tools called InFocus+. Working in partnership with hospital trusts, Dr Foster determines which indicators need to be monitored and the relevant data is then used to populate the dashboard. With live data feeds directly from the hospital trust, there is no three month delay and remedial action can be taken immediately.

InFocus+ has one further benefit which is that it avoids the need for analysts to dig into the data and create bespoke reports for a particular department, or the executive management team. The consistent visual language enables anyone looking at the dashboard to understand trends, or variation highlighted by the data. This glance analysis conveys the message quickly and will trigger relevant actions quickly rather than requiring a competent analyst to get the information. InFocus+ tells you immediately which part of the organisation a particular alert relates to.

Having data front and centre also means that analysts can spend their time on more complex work. The key is simplicity of the analysis, and once the indicators are agreed it is possible to focus on a wide range of areas such as readmissions and length of stay. For example, it will be possible to see how many patients due to be discharged in the next few days do not have a discharge plan.

Retrospective modelling will soon be a thing of the past thanks to InFocus+ and working in the live environment will help hospital trusts understand much more than they are asking. It will help to avoid being reactive and help them get on top of the data in a live environment. This will require a mindset shift, but one which inevitably will help to improve outcomes for patients.

Find out more about InFocus+ here