Smarter Health: Boosting Analytical Capacity in Healthcare

Screen Shot 2017-02-08 at 6.08.18 PMReport by Beth Noveck, Stefaan Verhulst, Andrew Young, Maria Hermosilla, Anirudh Dinesh  and Juliet McMurren: “Public institutions such as the National Health Service in England increasingly want—and are expected—to base their actions on nationally agreed standards rather than anecdote. The collection and analysis of data, when done responsibly and in a trusted manner, has the potential to improve treatment and drive towards value, both social and economic, in healthcare.

However, the goal of using data to improve the NHS and social care is hampered by a “talent gap” – a lack of personnel with data analytical skills – that stands in the way of uncover- ing the rich insights expected to reside in the NHS’ own data. The NHS is not unique among public and even private sector institutions who are struggling to identify, hire and retain people with data science skills, and, above all, with the ability to apply new technological tactics to advancing the institution’s priorities….

Informed by both a literature review and analysis as well as over fifty interviews with NHS and other experts, this paper offers a multiplicity of proposed recommendations for meeting the data analytic talent gap and achieving greater institutional readiness without full-time hiring. …

These recommendations fall into four categories:

  • Using new technology to coordinate distributed talent already present in the NHS, including project marketplaces.
  • Using new technology such as talent banks and skill finders, to find talent hiding in plain sight—namely those with the relevant skills but who are not classed as analysts and match them to projects.
  • Using expert networks to connect with empirical expertise outside the NHS.
  • Creating cost effective incentives to bring talent in from outside, including prize-backed challenges and foundation-funded fellowships…(More)”