Scotland unveils first data strategy for health and social care
Scotland has published its first data strategy for health and social care with the aim to transform the way members of the public access and use data to improve their wellbeing.
According to the Scottish government, Covid-19 not only demonstrated the important role that maximising data can have in the delivery of health and social care but it also uncovered significant gaps in data.
As a result, in October 2021 Scotland published ‘Care in the Digital Age’, a strategy that was intended to tackle some of the flaws by committing to develop the country’s first ever data strategy dedicated to the sector.
The five-year plan is described as a “dynamic, evolving, living document” which will adapt and respond to any new data challenges that may surface.
The strategy focuses on both health and social care data, and the complex challenges with different systems, varying levels of digital maturity and digital skills between organisations.
Eight key priority areas have been outlined, including ethical approaches to data. “We acknowledge that data also has the potential to exacerbate existing inequalities in our health and social care sector,” the strategy said. “We recognise the need to collect and analyse data intersectionally in health and social care because inclusive data is intersectional.”
The Scottish government stressed that it aims to ensure that the data landscape is best placed to support “key priorities”.
“These ambitions will help us in supporting key missions across the health and social care sector, such as improving population health and reducing health inequalities as part of the Care and Wellbeing Portfolio approach,” it added in the release.
According to the Scottish government, it will deliver on its mission by addressing three key ambitions:
- To empower the people of Scotland by giving individuals clear and easy access to, and the ability to manage and contribute to, their own health and social care data where it is safe and appropriate to do so.
- To empower those delivering health and social care services to have the confidence and ability to gather, safely use, and share data to sustainably improve services and ensure outcomes are being met.
- To ensure fit for purpose data is readily accessible through secure and safe means for planning, research and innovation. Data will be used for the benefit of individual wellbeing and the public collectively, including the development of new and innovative ways of working, improving care, developing new treatments and technologies.
The country concluded that the changes will be delivered across 2023 and 2024.
Constructing data strategies are becoming more common not only perhaps for the public sector but also businesses and organisations. Late last year KFC unveiled its new data warehouse strategy in a bid to move great swathes of records to the cloud. Click here to read more.
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