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University Hospitals Birmingham Slashes Decision Making Times with Tibco Spotfire


UK Foundation NHS Trust improves on-ward visibility of data, realises commercialization of data, and improves decision making through collaborative data-led meetings

London, UK, July 6th, 2011 – TIBCO Software Inc. (NASDAQ: TIBX) today announced that leading UK NHS Foundation Trust, University Hospitals Birmingham (UHB), has used TIBCO Spotfire® to make significant operational improvements, leading to patient care benefits in key areas of the Trust’s two hospitals. Using TIBCO’s in-memory analytics software and powerful data visualisations, the Trust Informatics team led by Daniel Ray has created a ‘virtual ward’ bed viewer application, slashed decision making times and commercialised its patient anonymised data for use in other parts of the NHS and wider healthcare community.

The Trust Informatics team, consisting of nearly 100 staff covering Ward Clerks, Clinical Coders, Data Quality Auditors and Analysts for clinical and corporate data, works with datasets containing hundreds of millions of records. This data covers every aspect of the Trust’s activity, from patient records and clinical data to the results of patient care surveys, and is used as the foundation of all reports and decisions made within the organisation, including external reporting to governing bodies such as the Care Quality Commission.

“One of the biggest challenges we face is boiling the vast amounts of data down into information that allows the medical director and others to make informed decisions quickly,” said Daniel Ray, director of Informatics at UHB. “Typically these monthly meetings are data-led and used to make decisions relating to hospital or clinical procedures, as well as operational and other patient care matters.  Ward, diagnostic, clinician and patient data is reviewed in great detail, often leading to questions that require the data to be cut slightly differently each time. Historically that meant going away and creating that dataset and its results, delaying a decision until the next monthly meeting.”

Previously, meetings could often close with more questions posed than answered, with key decisions delayed. Once meetings reconvened, time would be wasted recapping the last meeting and outstanding questions, which would be frustrating and time consuming for all. With TIBCO Spotfire, those questions can be put to the data as they are asked, and answered immediately. That data can also be drilled into by interacting with the visualisation through a mouse or other pointing device, right down to anonymised individual patient data.

“We now have very interactive and engaging meetings, that are productive and lead to decisive action,” added Ray. “We leave those meetings invigorated, having quickly made decisions that we can all be confident in, and will benefit patients and the Trust.”

The ‘Bed Viewer’ created by the Informatics Team, is currently being trialed on wards and allows senior nursing staff to have a view of patients coming onto and leaving the ward, through a simple ‘dial-based’ dashboard with red and green status indicators.  Reviewing this data alongside that of current patients in a ‘virtual ward’, enables staff to make decisions quickly and easily about bed allocations as well as drill-down into patient data, such as diagnostic results, in a simple browser-based application.

In collaboration with TIBCO Spotfire, UHB has developed a series of data packages that are offered commercially to other parts of the NHS. These patient anonymised packages, allow other hospitals and bodies to have access to benchmarking analytics in a wide range of areas such as clinical outcomes, mortality rates and hospital appointment attendance rates.

“Commercialising our data has allowed us to offset some of the costs of the Trust, become a centre of excellence for Informatics in the region, as well as help other parts of the NHS and medical community to make better decisions about performance, faster, and see the results that might be achieved by adopting the processes and protocols of their peers,” concluded Ray. 

UHB reviewed a number of possible solutions to the problem, but found TIBCO Spotfire stood out above all others in its speed, intuitive nature and relative low cost, verses traditional BI and analytics solutions. The evaluation team was particularly impressed by TIBCO Spotfire’s ability to sit on top of standard database tables, and integrate many sources without the need to build huge data cubes for analysis.

TIBCO Software Inc. (NASDAQ: TIBX) is a provider of infrastructure software for companies to use on-premise or as part of cloud computing environments.  Whether it’s efficient claims or trade processing, cross-selling products based on real-time customer behavior, or averting a crisis before it happens, TIBCO provides companies the two-second advantageTM – the ability to capture the right information, at the right time and act on it preemptively for a competitive advantage.  More than 4,000 customers worldwide rely on TIBCO to manage information, decisions, processes, and applications in real-time. TIBCO Spotfire® is the company’s in-memory analytics software for next-generation business intelligence. By offering a visual, interactive experience, Spotfire® helps professionals quickly discover new and actionable insights in information. Learn more at


TIBCO, TIBCO Software, TIBCO Spotfire, Spotfire, and two-second advantage are trademarks or registered trademarks of TIBCO Software Inc. or its subsidiaries in the United States and/or other countries. All other product and company names and marks mentioned in this document are the property of their respective owners and are mentioned for identification purposes only.

Duncan Gurney
Ascendant Communications
+44 (0) 208 334 8041