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Investigating variations in the use of GIS within the NHS. Gary Higgs (University of Glamorgan) Myles Gould & Darren Smith (University of Leeds). ESRC funded research project With support for dissemination from the Association of Geographical Information, Health Special Interest Group.
Investigating variations in the use of GIS within the NHS Gary Higgs (University of Glamorgan) Myles Gould & Darren Smith (University of Leeds) ESRC funded research project With support for dissemination from the Association of Geographical Information, Health Special Interest Group
Structure • Background & Rationale • Aims & Objectives • Dissemination: Outcomes • Research Design • Postal Questionnaire • your initial feedback
Background • ESRC funded: March 2001- Feb. 2002 • Investigate relevance of GIS to the health care sector • GIS as integrated systems for managing, querying, analysing& displaying geographically referenced health data • Discrepancy between use ‘within’ NHS and ‘outside’ in academia
Background • 3 overarching research questions: 1. What are the current (potential) uses of GIS within UK primary & secondary health care sectors? 2. What are the barriers / opportunities towards greater implementation of GIS within NHS? 3. What contribution can GIS make to ‘new’ NHS policy agendas?
Rationale (1) • Research is timely • No specific mention of GIS in recent policy documents (e.g. The New NHS, Our Healthier Nation, Information for Health)despite significant investment during 1990s • There is an urgent need to: • Examine the contention that the potential of GIS in the NHS has not been fully realised • Undertake a comprehensive & vigorous examination of GIS use • Update findings of earlier studies of GIS utilisation
Rationale (2) • There is an urgent need to: • Understand whether GIS implementation varies in different NHS contexts / organisations • Enhance insights into C&IT / management practices • Understand barriers & encourage wider implementation • Consider new technological developments (e.g. NHSnet / WWW)
Aims (1) • To investigate the implications of recent NHS changes on the use of geographically referenced data & GIS technology • To survey levels & variations in the use of GIS within the primary & secondary health care sectors • To build & extend on a previous cross sectional survey of GIS use by health authorities (and beyond) • To review / survey types of GIS applications being used in the light of recent changes in the nature & structure of UK primary & secondary health care
Aims (2) • To understand reasons for variations in the use & wider implementation of GIS • To examine the nature & extent of intra- / inter-data exchange within the NHS • To consider the potential of GIS in addressing a number of key policy tasks • To assess the potential uses of other NHS C&IT developments & initiatives for sharing health information
Objectives • The provision of greater knowledge & understanding of the reasons for variations in the use of GIS within the NHS • Make preliminary recommendations for increasing GIS awareness within the NHS
Dissemination • Association of Geographical Information, Health Special Interest Group is supporting dissemination • Wide & diverse dissemination plan • Workshop: Project results & best practice examples • AGI report & web-based briefing papers • Conference papers & journal articles • Audience twofold • NHS personnel • Academics: help them target their interests
Research Design (1) • Multi-method approach • Systematic & extensive bibliographic search • Extensive cross-sectional survey • Postal questionnaire using Binley’s as ‘sample’ frame • Health Authorities (England, Wales) and Primary Care Groups (England)/Trusts, Acute/Community Trusts (England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales) and others • Attempt full enumeration • Follow-up non-responses • Scheduled for June • No ethical issues
Research Design (2) • Intensive semi-structured interviews • With key informants • Sampling will be purposive, informed by earlier research activities • Follow up key issues emerging from questionnaire • Thick description • Scheduled for September/December • Case studies • Systematic review of HA, Trust & PCG reports, policy documents, community atlases & occasional papers • Workshop with survey/interview respondents • Project results • ‘Best practice’ case studies • Views of participants
The Questionnaire • Draft for comment only at this stage! • 7 key sections • Current GIS use • Current GIS applications & future plans • How and why is GIS used • Data issues: barriers/opportunities • GIS support/training needs • Post-survey research activities & dissemination