EHI Interview: Southampton University Hospitals NHS Trust

EHI reporter Daloni Carlisle recently interviewed Fiona Boyle, finance manager at Southampton University Hospitals NHS Trust, about the Trust’s use of Ardentia’s business intelligence solutions.

The Trust is using a solution that allows them to drill down to patient level, analyse the cost components e.g. theatre time, medical staff time, ward and drug costs etc and compare these against the income received for the patient’s treatment.

Fiona said: “The solution provides you with an insight that you just don’t get as a management accountant working with a hospital division. We can begin to see where practice differs and how this drives costs. We have managed to find areas where our local policies were not set appropriately and this has influenced next year’s contracting decisions”

She believes that this level of insight will  help significantly as Trusts prepare for the evolving commissioning landscape .

You can read the full interview here

Healthcare Think-Tank Questions Role of GP Consortia

Healthcare think-tank, the King’s Fund, has published a new report looking at how hospitals have been reconfigured in south east London.

The report warned against government plans to give GPs commissioning powers and increase competition in the NHS. It concluded that GP consortia are ‘unlikely to be able to fulfil’ the commissioning role of strategic health authorities, and expressed concern over how they would be able to reconfigure services.

Health secretary Andrew Lansley announced last week that 177 groups of GP practices had now signed up for a commissioning role. However, NHS Confederation chief executive, Nigel Edwards, believes there has been too much ‘procrastination’ about plans to reconfigure hospital services.

He said: “With the NHS facing such enormous financial pressures, we need these plans to go through as soon as possible.”

In preparation for the significant changes to NHS commissioning, both GPs and hospitals need to have the right systems in place to ensure the transition runs as smoothly as possible. Collaboration between GP consortia, as commissioners, and Trusts, as providers, will be key to maintaining high-quality care.

Business intelligence solutions like those from Ardentia provide the tools needed to facilitate this exchange, ultimately ensuring the most effective service is being delivered to patients.

To find out more about our solutions click here.

Obama Squares up to Healthcare Reform Opponents

A massive healthcare battle looms in US, as Obama looks to push through one of the biggest of his presidential reforms.

Obama is looking to win support from America’s doctors as part of his bid for a complete overhaul of the nation’s costly healthcare system. He’s facing stiff opposition however from private insurance corporations and from politicians who denounce any form of “socialised medicine”.

According to Obama, the current system is focused on quantity not quality, with too much of a business and financial focus, and that a healthcare industry that currently accounts for one sixth of the US economy is a ticking time bomb which needs to be defused.

No health service is perfect, but with 46 million uninsured Americans – a figure which is rising as unemployment spreads – taxpayers are ultimately picking up the bill for treating these people in costly hospital emergency untis – money which could be better spent deploying more cost effective health services.

There’s no easy answer, and no quick fix. Many Americans are suspicious of what they call “socialist” European healthcare models. However, with NHS waiting times at records lows, and a more community-based healthcare model being deployed to make the best use of resources and budgets, the USA could learn some valuable lessons from the innovative work being done in the UK, and this is what Obama is trying convey to the lawmakers in Washington.

One common issue that American, British and indeed healthcare providers the world over will all be facing is the need to do more with less, during these harsh economic times. Healthcare models need to be more cost effective, and resources used to their best.