Trustmarque helps The Christie NHS Foundation Trust improve clinical processes

Scutari tool provides hospital staff with real-time access to Statistical Process Control charts

The Christie NHS Foundation Trust is using Trustmarque Solutions’ proprietary Scutari tool help it improve its clinical processes, through real-time access and visibility via comprehensive Statistical Process Control (SPC) charts.

The Christie is Europe’s largest single-site cancer centre and treats more than 44,000 patients a year. In order to continually provide the highest quality of care, The Christie needs to be able to manage its resources in a systematic manner. As such, it is committed to the use of SPC to deliver clinical process improvement against set baselines, and to thoroughly measure improvements.

For the last 18 months The Christie has been using Tableau Software as its Business Intelligence Solution, providing it with fast and effective data analytics. In order to further enhance its data analytics capabilities, The Christie wanted to be able to create SPC charts in Tableau that would enable the trust’s staff to monitor change impact and iterative improvement projects on a daily basis.

Working alongside The Christie, Trustmarque developed Scutari as a companion tool for Tableau to provide staff with a simple and mathematically robust view of the metrics that impact the quality and efficiency of patient care. The Christie can now rapidly generate colour-coded SPC charts in a matter of minutes, rather than the hours it took previously to create them manually.

Using Scutari, The Christie has been able to monitor the clinical and financial impact of a growing number of processes across the trust. This includes monitoring patients’ length of stay, bed availability and discharge times. The Christie is also about to implement a new pharmacy system, and will be using SPC charts to monitor the ongoing cost of pharmacy dispensing.

The ability to plug into live data sources is also useful in helping The Christie to identify trends more quickly, and to make business decisions. For instance, The Christie is using Scutari to support its procurement of drugs. It now has full visibility into chemotherapy procurement numbers, so can more pro-actively predict when there is a change in process which could have financial considerations.

“Within our BI team, we are always looking at how data can improve the trust’s everyday operations and processes. SPC is central to this. However, we recognised that this needed to move beyond being a time-consuming Excel-based process if we wanted to effectively monitor and measure variations in any given metric,” said Dan Tibble, head of business intelligence and software development at The Christie.

“Scutari has been a fantastic companion to Tableau, providing our staff with easily accessible and immediate statistics so they can analyse specific trends against a baseline in as much detail as needed. Trustmarque’s considerable healthcare expertise and understanding of our requirements has been of huge benefit to the success of the project to date.”

Nathaniel Van Gulck, business intelligence solutions architect at Trustmarque, said: “SPC charts have been used for decades in the manufacturing industry to improve quality, reduce waste and costs. These same techniques are now entering the healthcare sector However, adoption to date has been patchy and slow. Too often the tools used to create SPC charts are confined to an analyst’s desktop with no way to effectively share or refresh them with the hospital staff who need to know. With Scutari working in tandem with Tableau, front-line healthcare staff can be provided with the information they need, and a simple framework to make the best decisions.” <.p>