Delivering a range of public health interventions within Medway, the council’s public health team had a disparate view of client data. With an increasing number of services, ranging from stop smoking, health eating, exercise and physical activity, sexual health and health checks – it became apparent that a central place to manage all referral data would make life easier for advisors. Having one client record against which multiple referrals could be made would minimise client duplication and offer a cross-service view of health. Importantly, it would also provide a place where accurate reporting on the state of public health in Medway could be done. This intelligence could then be used to drive spending going forward.
With advisors across the public health delivery services currently using anything from paper and pen to spreadsheets, we set about understanding the referral flow within each of the services. We shadowed advisors and watched them gather and collate data. It was important for us to understand what data was taken when. With this to hand we could start to map out data flows and prototype key areas of the proposed new system. Through consultation with end users and Medway’s IT team, we decided that real time entry of client data was the most time-efficient method of entering data. Each advisor would be issued with a tablet to facilitate this and the application we built would be accessible from a web browser and optimised for tablet devices.
We also engaged with the data reporting teams to ensure the outputs they needed/desired could be obtained from the system.