"Business Intelligence is quite simply taking the hand cuffs off right across the organisation — even a limitless budget couldn’t have liberated us in this way."  These are the words of  Andy Hall, Associate Director of Performance at Nottinghamshire County Primary Care Trust (PCT)

Business intelligence, or performance management if you prefer,  is a deliberately recurring theme of this blog.  Empowering individuals with the information they need, when they need it, in formats that are easy to understand is one of the best ways to improve productivity and the ability of employees across the public sector to deliver more personalised and effective public services.

NHS Nottinghamshire County PCT commissions healthcare for 650,000 county residents.  The trust wants to leverage business intelligence to transform its systems and equip its people to function more efficiently. Priorities include unlocking data hidden in multiple disparate legacy systems and creating a new, highly accessible and automated system that can be easily used by a wide range of staff.

The PCT management also wants a solution that would help at a strategic level, particularly with commissioning.  As with all NHS PCTs, commissioning is a process to ensure that the healthcare provided effectively meets the needs of the population. It includes assessing population needs;prioritizing health outcomes; procuring products and services; and managing service providers.

Nottinghamshire PCT began its progressive approach to business intelligence by teaming with Microsoft technology partner 21C who specialises in providing health and social care business intelligence portals based upon Microsoft technologies and best practice data warehouse design methodologies.

The PCT is deploying a business intellgience solution built on Microsoft SQL Server 2008 and SharePoint Server 2010.  The soluiton is delivering productivity improvements across the PCT's operations, from increased time-savings for individuals and teams, as they become operationally more efficient, to calibrating demand for clinical services, so that patients can be treated more effectively.   Previously, trust analysts spent frustrating hours on mundane data manipulation because the information was siloed. Now, with a single point of entry to fully integrated data, these experts have more time to focus on performance management priorities.

You can read the full NHS Nottinghamshire PCT story here and find out more about Microsoft business intelligence solutions here.