From data to decisions: Building blocks for population health intelligence systems

The well-known inventor Charles Kettering as soon as remarked, “Action without intelligence is a form of insanity, but intelligence without action is the greatest form of stupidity in the world”. His quote highlights the significance of connecting what we know, to what we do as the one possible way to make certain we are going to obtain what we need. We are getting higher at this however there are nonetheless many circumstances the place our actions aren’t totally supported by what we all know – our data-to-decision journey isn’t a whole one.

The incomplete journey

We’ve all seen examples of the place the data-to-decision journey has fallen brief. Consider the various experiences that get produced which distil enormous quantities of data into great graphics, charts and tables which neatly describe a state of affairs however go away you pondering so what?

You are none the wiser as to what is absolutely occurring, why it’s occurring or what you are able to do about it. Working laborious to course of data which doesn’t hyperlink to a choice constitutes an enormous waste of time, effort and useful resource. So what steps are concerned within the data-to-decision journey?


As the illustration above exhibits, uncooked data will be remodeled and distilled into cleaner and extra understandable kinds. This info, when positioned in context and linked to proof, can present intelligence and perception which if communicated in the proper method and to the proper individuals can higher inform selections.

Each step within the journey requires entry to quite a lot of system and infrastructure enablers, similar to the proper insurance policies, IT /software program, management and organisational culture, and to individuals with the proper technical abilities. Specialist information can also be an vital catalyst in shifting data between every step and alongside this journey. Ensuring system has entry to these abilities and ensuring the varied workforce inside that system stays linked, is crucial if we’re to guarantee our selections are finest knowledgeable by the data that’s out there.

Towards a place-based intelligence operate

PHE’s native information and intelligence groups across the nation have been able to observe a few of the talent and infrastructure gaps that exist inside native population health systems, and in addition a few of the alternatives to mobilise the talents and studying which are dispersed throughout systems to construct functionality and capability.

We have developed a framework to draw attention to the talents, information and system enablers which are required to help a data-to-decisions journey in order that native areas can assess whether or not they have the proper capabilities in the proper locations.

The framework gives a easy method of capturing the elemental elements of an efficient place-based population health intelligence operate and has been designed to cater for the wants of each particular person companies and in addition native partnerships which can comprise of quite a lot of native authority, NHS, hearth service, police and third sector stakeholders.

The want for built-in intelligence features has been introduced into sharp reduction by the rising population health administration agenda and the framework additionally aligns effectively with the population health systems method described within the current Kings Fund report on population health.

PHE has been working nationally with NHS England (NHSE) and different arms-length our bodies to form a help provide aligned to the elements that make up the framework. By utilizing the framework, native systems can determine the most effective place to go to for help. For instance, a growing health and care system might need to name on specialist and skilled IT enter from NHSE or NHS Digital to handle an infrastructure hole.

Alternatively, it could be that the framework attracts attention to an under-capacity of interpretation and influencing abilities which may very well be addressed by accessing a few of the programs inside PHE’s Population Health Intelligence Training Prospectus.

The progress of massive and novel sources of data and proof alongside developments in complicated data science methods makes it an thrilling time to work in intelligence, however with this comes a threat – specifically, that real perception is buried beneath a mountain of inconsequential evaluation. The framework isn’t an answer to this drawback however it has been designed to facilitate a dialog about the place native systems are, the place they want to be, and what help is likely to be out there.

If you prefer to to know extra concerning the framework or are inquisitive about becoming a member of a group to help its utility, together with the event of a PHI abilities mapping instrument and a purposeful specification for native PHI systems then do please get in contact.,,

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