Using the Scottish Atlas of Healthcare Variation: Case Studies

The Scottish Atlas of Healthcare Variation is already being successfully used in a number of Boards. In May 2019, Dr Catherine Calderwood wrote to Medical Directors and Directors of Public Health to ask them to share their processes for reporting on the Atlas maps.

CMO Letter – the need for local atlas processes – May 2019

Three examples of good practice are shared here:

NHS Grampian

NHS Grampian are a Board right at the start of the Atlas reporting process. The Realistic Medicine lead has produced a paper on the Atlas for NHS Grampian’s Systems Leadership team, and the Board is in the process of forming  a dedicated multi-disciplinary team to share lessons from the Atlas.

NHS Grampian response on use of Atlas data

NHS Lanarkshire

NHS Lanarkshire have developed a strategic approach to reporting on the Atlas.

If the new data is not significantly different from the national average, its availability on the Atlas is communicated to the relevant services for comment, and shared with the Board’s Clinical Effectiveness Group (for data analysis and triangulation) and with the Board’s Realistic Healthcare Group (for sharing learning). For example, the Atlas hip replacement data was shared with the clinical lead and service manager, who were aware of some variation over time.

Where any new data does show significant differences from the national average, the initial response is more structured:

NHS Lanarkshire response on use of Atlas data

NHS Orkney

NHS Orkney’s example shows how a smaller board can use existing resources to support the use of the Atlas:

NHS Orkney response on use of Atlas data