New condition-specific data dashboards are being developed by NHS Wales to provide insight into patient outcomes and identify variations in care.

Analysts and tech experts from the NHS Wales Informatics Service are building the dashboards in support of the Value-Based Healthcare programme.

They are working with clinicians, the Welsh Government and the Finance Delivery Unit.

Dashboards are interactive and link different aspects of the patient journey, including audit data and patient-reported outcome measures. 

This puts a greater focus on the interventions that work best for patients, taking into account their personal circumstances and highlighting variation in services and outcomes to reveal over-and under-use of different aspects of healthcare.

"Data has the power to have a direct impact on the care and the care choices patients can make," said information specialist Sally Cox, who is leading dashboard development at the Informatics Service.  

"For example, a patient should be able to use the evidence available to inform a decision on whether to have chemotherapy, or whether a replacement knee would improve their quality of life."

Lung cancer dashboard

The National Lung Cancer Dashboard was released last year.

This will be followed in 2020 by dashboards for heart failure, knee replacements, stroke, cataracts and colorectal cancer.

Work is currently underway to develop a second-generation lung cancer dashboard, building on the success of the current dashboard and evolving to meet more sophisticated user requirements.

For the first time condition-specific data is being linked at a national level, enabling a data-driven approach to decision making for both clinicians and patients. 

It will provide the information needed to assess which interventions are effective and deliver quality care.

"To provide the whole picture needed to identify variations in care, we need to bring together all available data," said Sally. 

"Collecting data in isolation, or in silos based on geographic area, won't help us to provide the best possible outcomes for patients."

NHS Wales Informatics Service