Civica has announced a new partnership with North West Anglia NHS Foundation Trust to implement its AI platform, Aurum, in order identify millions of pounds worth of service improvement opportunities.
Patient-level costing data is one of the richest, yet underused, data sets available to hospitals.
Aurum marks a big step in our work to help drive innovation across the NHS through better use of AI-powered software and data insights
And the Aurum platform uses the latest data science techniques to find instances of systemic variation in clinical activity, which would otherwise go undiscovered.
Developed in conjunction with Civica’s innovation lab, NorthStar; the assisted analytics platform takes insights from the CostMaster cloud optimised software, which already provides the NHS trust with patient-level costing, service line reporting, and end-to-end cost management.
Harnessing AI against patient-level data, Aurum finds significant efficiencies, removing unwarranted variation and improving patient outcomes.
The platform applies intelligent analysis at the most-granular level across multiple specialties and settings such as operating theatres, pharmacy and wards. This delivers valuable insights to decision-makers exponentially quicker than using current tools.
By analysing data, Aurum identifies consistently-varied activities, such as duration in theatre and length of stay.
For example, the platform will spot a consultant who may consistently takes 40 minutes longer than the rest of their peer group to complete the same procedure in comparable conditions.
This means trusts can better tailor support to clinicians, spotting areas for improvement, helping to improve overall quality and efficiency of care.
In a recent pilot with six UK NHS trusts, the platform completed the equivalent of 13 years of traditional analysis in under 24 hours.
It identified a minimum of 3% additional annual cost savings for each trust, finding nearly £40m of improvement opportunities to drive operational efficiencies in healthcare delivery and patient care.
The pilot at North West Anglia NHS Foundation Trust found a sample of the opportunities, with a value of £10m identified from FY19/20 data.
At an unimaginably-difficult time for the NHS, with resources and budgets strained, finding new and innovative ways to increase capacity through improved efficiencies is paramount
The new partnership will support the trust in focusing its transformation activities in the areas that will offer maximum benefit.
One of the most-valuable insights gained was the improvement of theatre capacity.
Aurum identified theatre optimisation opportunities for the trust which is spread across three hospital sites in different geographical locations.
The platform identified unused theatre capacity which could help clear the significant backlog of minor surgeries that had built up since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Joel Harrison, chief finance officer at the trust, said: “After seeing the results of the pilot, we’re thrilled to fully implement Aurum.
“At an unimaginably-difficult time for the NHS, with resources and budgets strained, finding new and innovative ways to increase capacity through improved efficiencies is paramount.
“Alongside CostMaster, Aurum will play a critical role in supporting the long-term financial stability of our trust, helping us deliver increased productivity and supporting the improvement of our overall quality of care.”
Every opportunity to make improvements across the NHS is crucial and Aurum will be a vital tool for freeing up staff and allowing data-driven decision making at a time of unprecedented pressure
Steve Brain, Civica executive director of health and care, adds: “The launch of Aurum marks a big step in our work to help drive innovation across the NHS through better use of AI-powered software and data insights.
“We’re very excited to join the trust on this journey and look forward to helping find opportunities to work more efficiently and to lower operational costs to deliver high-value healthcare.
“Every opportunity to make improvements across the NHS is crucial and Aurum will be a vital tool for freeing up staff and allowing data-driven decision making at a time of unprecedented pressure.”