Five research projects have been selected by the Health Foundation as part of its £2.1m open call for original research ideas on informatics in health care improvement.

Insight 2014 aims to identify how new technologies and data can best be used in practice to increase the safety, efficiency and overall quality of health and care services in the UK.

The research teams from across the UK will generate new knowledge to understand how we can use informatics to improve health care quality, and support transformational change in heath and care.

The programme will run for two years and each project will receive up to £500,000 of funding to support the research.

The longer term programme aims are to:

  • leverage the potential of advanced information and communications technologies in innovative ways within health settings
  • increase understanding of how to better implement, spread and scale-up these systems in a UK health care context.

Nick Barber, Director of Research from the Health Foundation, said: 'The health and care environment is becoming increasingly complex and challenging, and informatics has the potential to provide transformational solutions to these challenges. We are very excited to work with these five outstanding research teams to explore and better understand the impact of informatics, with a diverse range of projects spanning across the health and care sector'.

The projects are:

Combining physiological and biomedical data into a novel computer-aided risk score to support near real-time clinical decision-making – University of Bradford
This research project will develop, implement and evaluate a computer-aided risk score highlighting the risk of patient death, making this risk integral to clinical decision making, and ultimately to reduce preventable deaths in hospitals.

The repurposing of clinical data for quality improvement in critical care – University of Cambridge
This research project aims to understand and test ways of improving extraction of data from clinical information systems, and use of that data by clinicians, to improve the quality of care.

Data integration for hospital unit quality monitoring and improvement – King’s College London
This research project will develop and test a statistical model of organisational performance at unit level in a hospital. The research aims to address the lack of integration of datasets in hospitals, and the consequent lack of ability to analyse patterns of variability or understand the reasons for quality problems.

Data linkage across ambulance services and acute trusts: Assessing the potential for improving patient care – London Ambulance Service NHS Trust
This research project will link data from hospitals and ambulance services to support improvements to patient care across the health care economy.

Informatics to identify and inform best practice in ‘out of hours’ secondary care – University of Nottingham
This research project aims to lead improvements in ‘out of hours’ secondary care by expanding adoption of advanced Locative and Tasking Informatics to support better understanding of factors affecting safety, efficiency and efficacy.