Barnsley Hospice offers a broad range of services to an adult population of approximately 177,000 individuals across 127 square miles of the borough.
As in many hospices, there exists a wealth of data that, if extracted, analysed and presented in the appropriate manner, has the potential to streamline operations, help focus valuable resource and improve outcomes across all areas. A recent move by the Local Authority to create six new ‘Area Councils’ with localised budget and decision-making responsibilities has been seen by the hospice as an opportunity to take a more focused approach on community engagement with a key aim being to extract and merge relevant data to deliver an overall ‘view’ of demographics, patient activity, fundraising and key stakeholders within each area.
In order to engage with our communities, the hospice primarily needed to engage itself in the process and value of data. Data from different systems was cleansed, refined and combined into a single set and uploaded into the Google Fusion Tables product in order to display it visually on a Google Map. In addition to this, additional datasets were mined from public sites such as Health & Social Care Information Centre in order to enrich and validate the view. The map is layered, allowing various elements to be enabled/disabled according to what the individual viewer wishes to see.
The opportunity to interact with data in a ‘visual’ way has realised several key outcomes with some specific examples including:
Enhanced engagement in data across the hospice
Identifying geographic areas that may need additional focus on patient referrals
Defining targeted fundraising activity
Producing an overall picture of activity across the different areas
The tools used are, at the time of writing, currently free for non-profits and can significantly assist hospices to realise the potential of the information they hold.