PathAnalyse: Towards the redesign of outpatient services using visual process analytics

Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

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

  • Being run by Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, in partnership with the University of Sheffield and the Devices for Dignity Healthcare Technology Co-operative.
  • Aiming to advance analytical capability and improve health care delivery in outpatient services at Sheffield Teaching Hospitals.
  • Will use analytics from PathAnalyse to support senior staff to understand current processes, and identify scenarios that negatively impact patient experience and resource efficiency.

Time-to-treatment is key to better health outcomes for patients, but long waiting times are a reality, appointments are often missed, and ‘burnout’ is a risk for health care professionals.

Although digitisation has the potential to optimise health care delivery, the analytical capability needed to derive benefit from the growing volume of data is lacking.

This project from Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust aims to advance analytical capability using PathAnalyse – a tool to improve health care delivery at outpatient clinics using visual data analytics.

PathAnalyse will support senior staff managing outpatient services to understand their operation, and identify when poor patient experience and resource inefficiencies occur. Two clinics have been selected to show the benefits: antenatal care and rheumatology. 

PathAnalyse will build on previous digitisation efforts from the Trust’s Scientific Computing and Informatics team to develop PathFinder, a workflow system that tracks the patient’s clinical journey, including arrival times, consultation times and duration of appointments.

PathAnalyse will leverage from an existing collaboration with the University of Sheffield, on the visualisation and analysis of temporal event sequences. PathAnalyse will use the tracking data collected by PathFinder to identify and interpret the causes of bottlenecks and inefficiencies in patient flow, support the design of new strategies to alleviate these, and generate a transferrable methodology to other parts of the health care system.

Using the outputs of PathAnalyse to explore and optimise complex health care system processes will have significant benefits to patients, in terms of time to diagnosis and treatment, and service efficiency and capacity.

Contact information

For more information about this project, please contact:

  • Steven Wood, Clinical Scientist, Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
  • Maria-Cruz Villa-Uriol, Lecturer, Department of Computer Science, University of Sheffield

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