Data saves lives and improves care

Data is vital to high quality, good value care.

Being able to access data about a patient from a computer anywhere in the NHS is vital to ensuring individual patients get great care, at the right time, in the right place:

  • It enables doctors and nurses to know about any existing conditions.
  • It lets a clinician know what medications a patient is already on and stops them receiving another drug that might react badly with what they have already taken.
  • It allows a clinician to be alerted to important information that may need swift action.
  • It means that a patient doesn’t need to remember every detail of their care and repeat it to every doctor and nurse that they meet.
  • It lets the NHS provide care in the place that is right for the patient, knowing that they will always have the up to date information that they need.

Information gained by analysing patient data from many people helps us to improve health and care for everyone. For example:

  • Insight into how different people respond to different treatments enables health and care professionals to identify the care that’s safest, and most likely to work, for each individual patient.
  • Data about how services are used, and who uses them, enables the NHS to plan and buy services which meet patient needs.
  • Research using data about people’s key characteristics, conditions and symptoms and care leads to the discovery of new cures and life-changing treatments.
  • Knowing what usually happens to people who have the same conditions or treatments reassures patients and enables them to care for themselves better.

Patient data saves lives: The bigger picture

Watch this video to see why sharing data is more important than ever before.