Sunday, 12 December 2010

UK's NHS Launches HealthGIS Maps

The UK’s National Health Service (NHS) AIMTC (Avon Information Management and Technology Consortium) HealthGIS has launched a new intranet mapping service to Primary Care Trust (PCT) clients in Avon, using Cadcorp GeognoSIS and Cadcorp SIS MapModeller. This new service - known as ‘HealthGIS Maps’ - has successfully delivered against its first project milestone, providing Pharmaceutical Needs Assessments for Avon PCTs.

Each PCT in Avon is currently charged with reviewing accessibility to the pharmacy services that it manages. Each Pharmaceutical Needs Assessment requires map-based evidence about access to pharmacies, viewed against demographic and socio-economic indicators. Since PCTs rarely have the necessary expertise in managing geographic information, they are being assisted by a group of GIS experts from the AIMTC HealthGIS team.

The delivery of the Pharmaceutical Needs Assessment maps via HealthGIS Maps marks a significant development in the use of geographic information in the NHS Primary Care sector, as Matthew Leaver, from ‘HealthGIS’ explains.

‘Traditionally all maps have been delivered as PDF or JPEG static media. The deployment of Cadcorp GeognoSIS in HealthGIS Maps means that we can now deliver all content to health care and medicines managers in an easy to use web browser environment. We are confident that this will promote a culture of information dissemination, and lead to efficiency savings through self-service.’

HealthGIS Maps is a service available to all NHS staff with access to the NHS network. It is anticipated that easy access to geographic information, coupled with the ability for end users to create their own bespoke maps, will provide both tangible and intangible cost savings for NHS staff who use geographic information for resource planning, service development and performance monitoring.

HealthGIS plans to achieve further cost savings for their PCT colleagues by using Cadcorp GeognoSIS to enhance legacy IT systems with new geographic capabilities.

‘The government is committed to an evidence-based public health service in the UK,’ noted Mike O’Neil, CEO of Cadcorp, ‘and much of that evidence will be geographically based. Cadcorp is proud to be providing AIMTC HealthGIS with the ability to share that geographic information more widely.’

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