You might have read our recent blog post on the latest edition of our OS Insider newsletter being published. If you haven’t read the newsletter before, we publish it 2-3 times a year to bring you up-to-date with our latest news.
This article on data use in the health sector is just one of the articles we feature this time – have a read, and if you like it, you can read the whole newsletter online now.
Since the launch of the Public Sector Mapping Agreement (PSMA) in April 2011, 2 319 members have signed up and 263 are from the health sector. Traditionally, health sector members were Primary Care Trusts, but the number of NHS Hospital Trusts using geographic information (GI) is increasing. Just 12 months ago only 21 NHS Hospital Trusts were members, and as of May 2012, there are now 89. Despite this, there is still enormous potential for growth in the health sector of the PSMA with many more trusts and authorities yet to fully realise the benefits to be gained from the use of mapping and geographic data.
Of those in the health sector currently using digital data, they are seeing the benefits of carrying out public health analysis, service planning and delivery, emergency response and planning and estate and facility management. For example, Luton Primary Care Trust used maps to pinpoint areas where immunisations rates were low, target resources and establish systems to measure the effectiveness of changes to the child immunisation programme.
Ordnance Survey’s GI has also been used to help improve the planning and delivery of drug and alcohol treatment centres inBristol, as well as increasing joint working between the city council and primary care trust. Identifying health bodies making effective use of data who can share the best practices has been one of Ordnance Survey’s goals within the public sector over the past year.
With 143 new PSMA members from the health sector, many with limited experience of working with GI, it prompted the introduction of PSMA new health joiner workshops. Sessions in Leeds andLondonwere fully booked with a further session planned for June 2012 inManchester. A wide spectrum of the health sector attended from Public Health Observatories to Strategic Health Authorities and Primary Care Trusts to Ambulance Trusts and hospital trusts.
The workshops gave an overview of the PSMA and available products and why mapping in health is important, alongside a presentation on user experiences. What became clear is the shift from the traditional work being carried out by Primary Care Trusts on service needs to hospitals analysing services and usage, and identifying future investment priorities.
As well as planning future workshops, the team are attending heath sector conferences throughout the year and launching a newsletter. GeoHealth will be distributed to non-PSMA members to show how data is being used under the PSMA. There remains a huge opportunity for the PSMA to deliver value within the health sector and Ordnance Survey is committed to identifying and sharing best practice as widely as possible.
You can find out more at http://www.ordnancesurvey.co.uk/oswebsite/public-sector/mapping-agreement/index.html