Fighting heart failure through collaboration


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This week has seen people across the world (including our own Business Intelligence team) biting on slices of lemon and sharing the face-wrenching results on social media. But this isn’t a new fad diet, it’s part of a global effort during Heart Failure Awareness Week, to spread the message that ‘heart failure sucks‘. In this blog we examine the condition and look at some of the ways we’re working together to combat it.

Heart Failure condition

Heart failure (HF) is an increasingly common long-term condition, affecting 920,000 people in the UK alone, in particular the elderly (over 65s).

(NICE Guidelines)

The condition occurs when the heart’s ability to pump blood around the body is reduced, which can then lead to various complications and a shortened life expectancy. Symptoms may include shortness of breath (dyspnea), fatigue and weakness, swelling of the legs, irregular heartbeat, reduced ability to exercise and persistent cough.

Heart failure is a leading case of hospital admissions in older patients in the UK, with the average age at diagnosis being 77, it equates to 5% of all emergency admissions, adding pressure to the already busy health system. These emergency department attendances continue to rise year on year.

By raising the awareness of heart failure amongst the public and providers we can make sure patients are diagnosed and treated earlier, to prevent the need for hospital admissions and to optimally treat those who leave hospital.

Heart Failure data

ICHP are using various NHS datasets, including Quality and Outcomes Framework (QOF), Hospital Episode Statistics (HES) and Primary Care Prescribing Data (ePACT), enabling us to understand the HF population and their interactions with the system. 

The combination of these datasets provide insight to the clinical pathways of these patients, which can include pre-existing conditions, comorbidities, and treatments together with prescribing information.

Another valuable data source is the local knowledge and experience of HF health professionals including community HF services. This information provides insight on multiple interventions that have been taking place across the country.

Effectively mapping patient pathways and existing interventions will enable health professionals across England to better understand their population and make more informed decisions about their HF services.

ICHP collaboration

ICHP are working closely with the NHS, industry partners and non-profit organisations on HF and we are currently developing interactive Tableau dashboards to help visualise HF data in a more meaningful way.

We are excited to be working in this space and believe that together we can make an impact by providing healthcare professionals the data they need to monitor and improve quality for HF patients.

For more information please contact Priya Ramanah, Innovation Advisor