Winter dashboards

Written by
NHS National Services Scotland (NSS)

Scotland’s first Data Strategy for Health and Social Care set the direction for making better use of health and social care data to improve delivery of services. As a result, National Services Scotland (NSS), the Scottish Government and Public Health Scotland have worked collaboratively to design and deploy Winter dashboards in 2023-24.  This enabled improvements in access to valuable insights and data, to support critical planning decisions in response to seasonal healthcare demands.

Leveraging the foundational support of the National Integration Platform (NIP) and Seer 2 (the NHSS national data and analytics service), the Near-Time Data Service delivers critical, timely insights and analytics underpinning winter preparedness plans. The capability is available to decision makers across health boards, regional and national government, and health and social care partnerships. It enables them to monitor various health system metrics including hospital admissions, bed occupancy rates, flu vaccination coverage, and emergency department performance.

One critical area of focus was the Social Care and Delayed Discharge Dashboard, which improves access to data around the critical winter challenges of hospital bed availability by providing insights to manage and reduce delayed discharges.

Developed with a cloud-first approach using both Power BI and R-shiny, the comprehensive view of service demands, resource allocation, and potential bottlenecks allows for a whole-system approach, and helped support better planning and patient outcomes during the demanding winter months. It continues to support over 600 users across the Scottish public sector.

Chief Officers have been using the whole system dashboard to see the bigger picture, inform discussion and actively look into different areas to share learning. Both dashboards are being used actively to identify pressures support decision making and interventions.

Using a collaborative approach to leverage skills across all partner organisations allowed the planning, development, and deployment of two impactful products within just four months.

Learning from end users’ feedback, the Near-Time Data Service now concentrates on efforts to further improve data quality, and to add additional indicators that complement and augment available information.

Going forward, the service will take steps to position itself as a powerful and easy-to-use self-service platform, optimising user experience and this driving value for its customers across the sector.

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