This project is under way, and will run until November 2020.

  • Run by Norfolk and Norwich University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, in partnership with the University of East Anglia.
  • Project aimed at improving understanding of where improvements can be made to care pathways for people with musculoskeletal conditions, and what changes are effective.
  • A user-friendly, web-based simulation tool will be developed that combines epidemiological data with local care pathway information to model the effect of system changes.

Musculoskeletal conditions affect one in four adults in the UK, and have a significant impact on quality of life. Caring for people with musculoskeletal conditions accounts for 5% of the NHS budget.

There is considerable variation in the management of, and outcomes for, people with these conditions across the UK, and understanding of how best to standardise and improve quality of care is complex.

This Advancing Applied Analytics project involves developing a user-friendly simulation tool that synthesises complex epidemiological data on inflammatory rheumatic disease into a simulation of a Trust’s long-term care pathway. The project will extend and refine an existing national-level model of rheumatoid arthritis and ankylosing spondylitis by including detailed local information of organisational structures, clinical activities and prescribing.

The tool will utilise ‘agent based simulation’ – computer models that simulate a whole system by capturing the behaviour of individuals and the way in which they interact.

The tool will help service mangers and clinicians to identify areas for improvement and monitor change, empowering them to use health care data to predict long-term consequences of local decisions on cost and patient outcomes. For example, decision-makers will be able to study the impact of changes on utilisation patterns, disease outcomes and staffing levels.

Users will not require statistical skills, only knowledge of their local care pathways. The tool will present information that is easily understandable in relation to the local system.

If implemented successfully, it is envisaged that the approach could be extended to a number of healthcare settings and scenarios.

Contact information

For more information about this project, please contact Professor Alexander MacGregor, Consultant Rheumatologist Epidemiologist, Norfolk and Norwich University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.

You might also like...

Blog

An unlikely data pioneer: four lessons for today’s data analysts from Florence Nightingale

Hannah Knight explores Florence Nightingale’s work as a data pioneer and encourages recognition of...

Press release

Health Foundation announces plans to ensure data and technology impact positively on the UK’s health

Significant investment made to explore the impact of data analytics and technology

Blog

Data analytics for better health – realising the potential for all

We are broadening the scope of our work to help create a future where everyone’s health and care...

Kjell-bubble-diagramArtboard 101

Work with us

We look for talented and passionate individuals as everyone at the Health Foundation has an important role to play.

View current vacancies
Artboard 101 copy 2

The Q community

Q is an initiative connecting people with improvement expertise across the UK.

Find out more