[UK comment from BridgeHead CEO, Jim Beagle] It is very good to see someone this senior in the NHS has recognised the importance of data and the central role it plays in affecting a positive healthcare experience and outcome. Tim Kelsey, the National Director for Patients and Information on the NHS Commissioning Board, spoke at the recent Reform Conference stating, “We are going to have a data revolution in healthcare, mark my words. From next April we will see routine flows of data from primary and secondary care – as a start.” He then went on to say: “I think anybody who does my job, me included, should be fired if we don’t start making some of these things really happen.” (Source: http://www.cio.co.uk/news/3405598/nhs-director-sack-me-if-there-isnt-data-revolution-in-healthcare/) It’s this kind of attitude that will bring about the long awaited change the NHS so desperately needs – especially as it pertains to freeing up data and using it meaningfully to deliver better administrative processes and, more importantly, improved patient care.

When I talk with my colleagues at BridgeHead, I get to hear, first hand, their recollections and experiences of how better access to and the better flow of data within a hospital could have resulted in quicker diagnosis, faster treatment and better all-round care. A customer of ours, Mike Roberts, IT Director at The London Clinic, has talked about how health providers can sometimes be guilty of undermining how much stress is caused in trying to locate data from disparate sources. Or how much stress is given to patients while consultants try and find information and explain problems to them at the bedside or in the consulting room. The data is eminently out there so why not use it efficiently?

Being able to deliver and make use of data is the difference between providing good care and excellent care or, in the extreme, the difference between life and death. Data is the lifeblood of a hospital and as simple as that is to say, it is not quite as straightforward to deliver. Many vendors have vanilla, non-industry specific, data management solutions and do not necessarily ‘speak the language of healthcare’. So it’s important that care providers work with data management specialists that understand the nuances and intricacies of this sector.

As patients, we are entitled to the best possible care. As a healthcare data management company, it is our responsibility to ensure that we facilitate that care by providing access to the data by those that need it, when it’s needed and where it’s needed.