We are actively seeking NHS Trusts and labs who would like to include their data in this project.
In addition, we are always keen to hear from GPs, policymakers, hospital pathologists, public health staff, funders, microbiologists, researchers and data scientists!
To express an interest, write to us at [email protected].
Why get involved as a Trust or Lab?
Participating regions can expect the following benefits:
- Improved patient care
- Reduced costs
- Better documentation and reduction of lab workloads
- More effective collaboration with GP Practices and commissioners
These benefits will be achieved through:
- Standardisation of data, supporting benchmarking against other regions
- Access to a suite of free online tools for supporting audit and feedback, including
- Ability to identify unnecessary test requests
- Measures of efficacy, safety and cost-effectiveness presented in easy-to-understand charts for each practice and lab
- Time trends
- Automated feedback by email for interested GP practices on unusual testing variation
- A per-region dashboard showing top-level summary trends and alerts, with national benchmarks
- Data showing trends over time
- All the normalised, processed data and analyses will be available as raw data downloads for further analysis within each lab or trust
How to get involved
The pilot tool will be built using extracts from participating labs’ LIMS. The minimum a partner needs to do is provide LIMS data in the OpenPathology format, once a month. At the end of every month we will update dashboards for every participating Lab.
Ideally, you would allocate some time to provide explanations of known issues and anomalies. We will host occasional meetings in Oxford to discuss development of the tools.
During the prototype period, we are also able to help write software to convert the raw output of a LIMS to this format. Get in touch at [email protected] to express an interest.
When can I see my data?
Our goal is to provide audit and feedback test requests for every practice in England (and beyond). However, we're some way off achieving this.
During the pilot phase (until October 2019) we will be collecting data directly from a small number of hospital laboratories. If your local trust is one of these partner labs, then your practice will be included in the pilot outputs. We will maintain a list of partnerships here as they are confirmed. We intend to extend coverage to national data following successful development of the pilot.
How can I get involved?
- Contact your local laboratory team, CCG or CSU to encourage them to support the project by becoming an early partner.
- Help us design amazing tools. On the home page you can see a tiny preview and read some background studies; our prescribing tool OpenPrescribing.net gives a working demonstration of how much we can do with healthcare data. Let us knowwhat you would hope to get out of a pathology feedback tool as a practice, or anything specific you'd like it to include. We will share the pilot tool for your feedback as soon as possible.
- Stay in touch! Keep an eye on this website for updates, and send us an email if you would like to be added to our OpenPathology mailing list to which we will send occasional updates and ask for input/feedback.
- Hopefully you are already making use of our OpenPrescribing service, including our email alerts service customised for your practice. We send a monthly OpenPrescribing newsletter in which we will mention any major OpenPathology news. You can sign up for this on the /OpenPrescribing.net home page.
Patient privacy is assured through the University of Oxford's extensive "Privacy by design" protocols. Once our impact assessment has been authorised, we will share it in full here. In short:
- Data will be submitted to our secured area using best-practice encryption (SSH over a VPN); we will need to liaise with your technical team to set up clients and credentials, following which data uploads will work in the same way, each month.
- All data sent in this way will remain in a secured server within the University, and processed to ensure it is anonymised and aggregated before it can leave this area.
- Raw data relating to time periods older than 5 years will be routinely deleted.
- We will also sign individual data-sharing agreements with each Trust, as required by their data protection protocols.