Data rich, information poor: Data, information and decision support in the NHS
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The need for data and information to meet health service management objectives has been put into sharp focus as the requirements driven by the 1991 NHS reforms take effect, but this means more than simply gathering appropriate data. There is also a shortage of management analytical skills for training and development. Decision support systems can help to overcome that skills gap by assisting in the interpretation of data and providing support for more proactive management. Examples from the UK health service are discussed, with particular reference to strategic service planning for long term care of elderly people, and consideration given to the potential role that computer-based decision support systems might have in future management information strategies.
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