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NHS IC partners with SAS to provide joined-up information, improving patient care across the NHS

SAS has partnered with the NHS Information Centre (NHS IC) to build a standardised data management environment and business analytics platform that will integrate, manage and analyse information across the NHS. SAS, the leader in Business Analytics software and services, will help the NHS IC to improve the level of service to NHS trusts and the department of health, resulting in better and more efficient care for patients in primary, community, hospital and social care.

Tim Straughan, the NHS IC Chief Executive says: “Health services worldwide face three main challenges. Firstly, improving the quality of care to meet the expectations of patients; secondly coping with economic downturn; and thirdly - the NHS IC’s focus - having access to information and using it effectively to address the first two. The NHS IC recognises the need to make better use of information across the board to meet these challenges. Working with SAS, we can achieve a more effective end-to-end process for sharing information across the NHS, whilst ensuring information quality, security and governance.”

Brian Derry, Executive Director of Information Services at the NHS IC adds: “Patient care is delivered through different parts of the NHS working together in innovative ways. To fully understand the effectiveness and efficiency of the NHS in providing high quality services we need to draw the data from different organisations, manage it correctly and analyse it. We hope that by using SAS to integrate data held in these disparate systems, we will derive better insights and understanding, which will inform better local decision-making and help improve services for patients.”

The NHS IC will use SAS to improve data quality, automate data management processes and enforce central governance and control over data stored across the NHS. Furthermore, the organisation will benefit from increases in efficiency and greater analytical flexibility, allowing its analysts more time to produce valuable analytics-based reports, leading ultimately to improved evidence-based decision making.

The NHS IC sought a partner with a reputation for providing industry leading software and services. Derry goes onto say: “We chose SAS because we wanted to standardise on proven software with a very strong record behind it. We ultimately wanted to form a relationship with the right company for the long-term, because this is going to be a long-term endeavor for us, which will come with long-term benefits.”

SAS’ professional services team is currently implementing SAS’ software within the organisation. It will provide ongoing support along with training courses to educate the NHS IC team on how to use the software to achieve the best business benefits and bring about change.

Ian Manocha, Managing Director of SAS UK states: “SAS is fully committed to being a business partner to the NHS IC and supporting its ambitious growth and successful delivery of services. The NHS IC’s role is a critical element to the improved use of information across the NHS. SAS is proud to support this, as well driving the use of analytics-based decision making to improve the health and wellbeing of people throughout England. We hope that SAS’ integrated system will help the NHS to be able to understand the quality and efficiency of its care services and be able to use this to improve patient services across the whole of the NHS.”