Working Towards National AHP Data – The AHP Operational Measures Project

Both Euan McComiskie and Fiona Millar have previously blogged about AHP data, so now I take my turn as one of an every-growing number of AHPs branching out in to the field of informatics.

Working within the Information Services Division of National Services Scotland (NSS), I have been recently joined by Matthew Curl. Matthew replaces Euan McComiskie who has gone on to fly the data flag in his new role as Health Informatics Lead at the CSP. As AHP Advisors, one of our current projects is the implementation of a minimum national dataset for AHPs in Scotland. The Allied Health Professions Operational Measures (AHPOMs) project began in October 2015 in order to achieve the National Delivery Plan (NDP) objective to collect national AHP data in line with an agreed dataset and display it in a dashboard format.

Why are we doing this work?

Evidencing, improving and transforming services all rely on data. The vision for AHPOMs is to collect AHP activity data from existing electronic systems and ensure regular submissions of that data to the Information Services Division at National Services Scotland. This will allow analysis and presentation of the data in dashboard format for use at local, regional and national levels across Scotland. These data presentations will ultimately allow boards and partnerships to not only look at their own data but that of other areas in the hope that good practice and lessons learned can be shared across the country.

What has happened so far?  

AHPOMs all started in October 2015 with Phase 1 where we asked two territorial health boards to submit an extract of their electronic AHP data. Reviewing the data for content and accuracy enabled us to start to consider potential data items and explore the feasibility of extracting data at board-level for submission to ISD to be analysed and presented. Phase 1 determined a need to clarify data definitions and involve AHPs across health and social care.

Following on from this, Phase 2.1 (November 2016 – September 2017) was an extensive communications plan comprising 6 national workshops (200+ attendees) and a formal online consultation (121 responses).  Interest, support and involvement from health and social care AHPs as well as other related staff (e.g. eHealth, Information Management) helped the team at ISD create and publish a national dataset for AHPs by AHPs which can be viewed here

Contacts Dashboard 1Episode of Care Dashboard 1Referrals Dashboard 1

Once the dataset was published, the remainder of Phase 2 (September 2017 – April 2018) saw the ISD AHPOMs project team working with six health boards and six H&SC partnerships to receive test data.  The data extracts received (six boards and one partnership) were compared against the AHPOMs dataset, analysed, and sample dashboard outputs* shared with submitting partners. Anonymised dashboards were also shared with an appropriate wider audience for comment, feedback, and ongoing engagement/promotion.

So, where are we now?

Phase 3 will see us implementing AHPOMs across Scotland between now and 2020.  Ensuring regular data submission from our 14 boards and 32 partnerships will be done in a staged process over this period. The project is currently in Year 1 of Phase 3 (June 2018 – March 2019) and work is underway to:

  • Engage/re-engage with all boards and partnerships to support and prime them to provide routine data submissions (previous partner sites) or test data (new sites)
  • Obtain Information Governance permissions to accept data
  • Build a data repository to securely store the data

What does AHPOMs mean for the AHP community?

Once we have started to populate the data repository, we will look to link the data to other data streams so we can paint a better picture of how AHPs impact not only on patients as they flow though the health and care system, but also on other health and care professions.  We will start to truly define our contribution to the health and wellbeing of the Scottish population.

Ultimately, data will help to facilitate service redesign by making the most effective use of our resources for the benefit of our service users and to strengthen business cases for investment in AHP services and workforce.

What does AHPOMs mean for YOU?

We can’t forget that every AHP is a vital part of this process. To ensure an accurate representation of the AHP services, we need you to be entering good data into your systems and sense checking it to ensure it is a true reflection of the activity you undertake.

*Please note – dashboards shown here are examples only, based on non-validated data

Laura Cameron Headshot 2018By Laura Cameron, AHP Advisor, ISD, NSS.


N.B: All of this week’s blogs are also available via Scotland’s new Digital Health and Care Website If you’ve not visited yet, why not take a look at it now and tell us what you think of it via the online survey.


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