Beating strokes with technology


Julie Wilkins on the award winning Atrial Fibrillation (AF) Stroke Data Landscape Tool, a web based interactive dashboard that uses publicly available healthcare data* to help better manage AF patients.

The tool was developed by our Business Intelligence team and data on AF prevalence, stroke incidence and anti-coagulant treatment are brought together and displayed in an easy-to-read graphical format which can be viewed by CCG area.

Data is beautiful

The tool aims to ‘socialise’ a range of potentially complex data sets in to one user-friendly portal, with the ultimate aim of improving knowledge about anti-coagulation services and AF related strokes. In this way, the tool is a stimulator and accelerator for positive, meaningful change.

Each CCG has timely and accurate access to their own data through a pull down menu, and can easily compare their local information with National, Regional and RightCare matched averages. The tool provides insights into each CCG’s local AF patient pathway, to enable commissioners to better direct resources to where they are needed most; in line with NICE CG180 for best practice to improve standards of care in AF, including anticoagulation for patients at high risk of stroke.

The data in the tool is automatically updated quarterly and contains the following data sets:

  • AF and Stroke QOF data
  • AF related Stroke Admission Hospital Episode Statistics (HES) data
  • National Stroke Audit (SSNAP) data
  • Anticoagulation Prescribing data
  • Guidance on Risk Assessment and Stroke Prevention for Atrial Fibrillation (GRASP-AF) data
  • TTR (time in therapeutic range) data

Local Knowledge

The tool was initially developed by Greater Manchester AHSN and Harvey Walsh Ltd, a health informatics agency. As the dashboard evolved, both The Stroke Association and Public Health England endorsed the tool, which is now used by seven AHSNs nationally. Each AHSN’s dashboard is personalised to ensure that healthcare professionals get the most from their data. Project leads within each AHSN manage data queries and other AF related Stroke resources available to them locally, giving a tailored approach to each geography.

By providing rich insights into their own local AF patient pathway, CCGs will be able to better pinpoint areas to direct resources; guiding them in using best practice commissioning tools and developing business cases for practice-based initiatives – all to improve AF detection rates and medicines management. Local success of the tool may be measured by the adoption of NICE CG180 and the projects it has helped identify. Projects that may ultimately go on to reduce strokes

“The AF landscaping tool has brought some much needed clarity for the CCGs that we are working with. It also makes it much easier to spot areas within the pathway that are not optimal and therefore would benefit from additional resources.”

If you have any queries, please contact our Business Intelligence team:

*All data accessible within the dashboard is non sensitive, pseudonymised and aggregated to Practice and CCG levels – small numbers are supressed. Data copyright NHS Digital 2017.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]