Using data presentation to improve the commissioning of child and maternal health services
The Child and Maternal Health Observatory (ChiMat) is a national Public Health Observatory established to provide wide-ranging, authoritative data, evidence and practice related to children's, young people's and maternal health.
This specialist observatory is part of the Yorkshire and Humber Public Health Observatory (YHPHO).
David Wells, Deputy Director and Local Network Lead, ChiMat says that the basic concept behind the observatory was to make intelligence more readily available to commissioners for child and maternal health services.
“The level of investment in this area is relatively low and you often find commissioners working without the level of backup they need. So we wanted to make the data and information more readily available. The idea was to bring it all together and analyse it and therefore reduce the amount of work that people had to do.”
David says that getting the data together from various sources was a challenge. “Often it is difficult to find for expert users and several sources had to be used,” he says. These included sources such asThe Office for National Statistics, The Hospital Episode Statistics database and survey results from the Care Quality Commission. There were three key functionalities of InstantAtlas that interested ChiMat. These were:
Meeting the need
According to David, the initial focus was to make data available that could be used to improve the commissioning of health services for children. However, ChiMat found that a lot of clinical staff were also downloading information and creating reports. ChiMat’s frequent user surveys found that a wide user audience has been using the data and has been finding it useful.
ChiMat will be adding additional data sets relating to child health later this year. This will help to create additional child profiles and reports – areas that are likely to be included will be vulnerable children and children with mental health problems. Accident prevention and emotional wellbeing are also on the list, as are teenage pregnancy and vaccination and immunisation, long-term conditions, dental health and health behaviours. “These are all issues that commissioners are working on locally,” says David.
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