Interview with Malcolm Mundy, PRSB lead data architect
The National Health Service (NHS) in the UK and social care are changing to meet the growing needs of people for joined-up care that is high-quality, safe, easy to access and personalised to their needs.
Health and care have been behind the curve when it comes to taking advantage of digital technologies. But the pandemic has changed this. People and professionals now realise that services from mental health care to outpatient and GP appointments can be offered at the touch of a screen. Integrated Care Systems will share a person’s care records and plans wherever and whenever they are needed for care. The days of paper notes and PDFs are numbered. Advanced digital technologies such as clinical decision support, care enhanced by Artificial Intelligence (AI) and predictive care modelling for population health management are set to revolutionise the quality of care offer just as genomics will personalise treatments to meet individual genetic makeup.
Professional Record Standards Body (PRSB)
How does PRSB fit into this changing digital world? PRSB designs information standards for health and care that define the information that needs to be digitally shared between people and professionals across all settings for care.
PRSB’s work helps to ensure that professionals have all the correct information they need about someone to administer high-quality care efficiently. PRSB’s data architects and project managers model the information within the standards and to do so, they require software that allows us to create data sets that are internally consistent, elegant and cross-reference new standards with existing ones.
This is where ART-DECOR® comes in. ART-DECOR allows PRSB to view all our standards clearly and compare each of them to other standards projects. Digital transformation is one of the central aims of the NHS and social care and PRSB’s work in creating digital standards, with the assistance of ART-DECOR, is an essential part of achieving this.
We caught up with PRSB lead data architect, Malcolm Mundy, who gave us a rundown of how PRSB uses ART-DECOR and why it’s important to his work.
Hi Malcolm, could you give us a bit of background to your role at PRSB and explain what ART-DECOR is?
As the Lead Data Architect at the PRSB, I am responsible for overseeing the technical development of standards. Our information standards structure and define a key set of information needed for health and care records. This could include medication, hospital discharge summaries or a patient’s personal preferences – and our standards make sure that this information is digitally storable in the patient’s record and transportable to different care settings. My role involves developing and advising on the structure and content of PRSB standards and advising on interdependencies between other internal and external standards.
In what capacity does PRSB use ART-DECOR for our projects?
ART-DECOR is integral to our standards development. We use the app to develop, store and socialise new data concepts and data items for standards. By socialise, I mean the app allows us to cross-reference and connect data items from different standards using the same underlying data store across all of our standards. This allows for our standards to fit together without duplication or omission of essential data items.
Could you give a run through of the process of using ART-DECOR, using a real example from PRSB’s work and take us through each step?
Before any standards development is undertaken, many stakeholders and clinical groups are engaged via workshops and consultations to understand what information needs to be included in the standard. When this is understood, the PRSB creates a project in ART-DECOR to hold the standard’s information model. We then use the app to view all of our previous standards and look for areas where we have already developed similar models. Following this, we conduct analysis of where there are gaps – ‘gap analysis’ – in our current standards’ information models to see the data sets our new project needs to provide to plug the gap.
What are the main benefits of using the software?
ART-DECOR provides a consistent environment for the hosting of standards’ information models and crucially, it allows for multiple users to view and develop our standards, terminology and value sets. It also allows us to cross reference our standards to see what areas are missing in our information models, something we were not able to do until we started using the software.
What are PRSB’s future plans for using the software?
The PRSB plans to extend its reach and may purchase additional resource. We are currently in talks about ART-DECOR potentially hosting our own specifically designed version of the programme. We will also be working with ART-DECOR to conduct an audit of our use of the tool, to ensure that our use of the software is technically conformant.
Thanks also to Athena Rees, Communications Officer, and Helene Feger, Director of strategy, communications and engagement at PRSB.
Title Photo: © Monkey Business – stock.adobe.com, Photo Malcolm Mundy: Private