Today on OpenPrescribing.net we have launched our National Institute for Health and Care Excellence – NICE Prescribing Dashboard. We have a NICE prescribing dashboard for every single general practice, primary care network (PCN), clinical commissioning group (CCG)https://openprescribing.net/ccg/, sustainability and transformation partnership (STP), NHS region and for the whole of England.This allows anyone to explore how NICE guidance has been implemented in their organisation, supporting effective, safer and more efficient prescribing. To access yours, simply go to your organisation’s measures page and select “NICE” from the drop-down. You can read more about our categories here or watch our short Youtube video.

What is NICE and why is a NICE prescribing dashboard needed?

NICE is a national organisation whose role is to improve outcomes for people using the NHS and other public health and social care services. They do this by producing evidence-based guidance, quality standards and a range of other publications such as technology appraisals. At OpenPrescribing, we have from our very early days used NICE guidance to inform our measure design, and we have implemented prescribing measures specifically defined by NICE where they did exist, for example NICE Key Therapeutic Topics. Now everyone can review their prescribing, and compare themselves with local and national peers.

We think bringing all our measures derived from NICE guidance together in one place will support organisations to compare their implementation of NICE guidance in comparison to their peers. Maybe you have a local NICE implementation group? This will now allow you to monitor the interventions you make to improve uptake of NICE guidance. We also hope this will be helpful for people working for and with NICE, such as NICE medicines and prescribing associates who support organisations and people to get better outcomes from their medicines.

How did you do it?

We did this using our modern open approach to analytics: we give everyone access, so that everyone can see everyone’s prescribing behaviour; we automate the pipeline where possible to deliver live dashboards instead of static emailed “reports”; we work openly and collaboratively with all-comers; and we share all our methods and code openly for review by all, with over 44,000 lines of code shared on GitHub, alongside all issues and additional notebooks, as per our open working model.

What more can you do?

We’d love to deliver more insights for clinicians, patients, commissioners, and more. We live to ship! We need three things. Firstly, we need resource: OpenPrescribing runs on a shoestring, we are great at getting pure academic research grants (and shipping papers) but there are no open competitive funding streams for practical coalface analytics tools like openprescribing, even though these have 130,000 users a year. We think that’s silly!

Secondly, we are always keen to access more data, so if you have any fun datasets that we can turn into tools, then get in touch. But also, a caveat: there is a dangerous history of “mañana culture” in NHS data science work. People will often say: “oh, when we have perfect data, when SNOMED happens, when the linkages are done…”then we can deliver amazing tools”. That’s dangerous: there is lots to be done today, and by shipping tools, we can learn and share in the furnace of delivery!

Lastly, we want a bigger community! There are a huge number of people out there, working on NHS data for practical coalface uses, but only a small amount of that work ever gets shared in public. We want to see more people sharing code and insights on GitHub, with Jupyter notebooks or R markdown, or even just blogs, to create a rich thriving community and ecosystem. On this, next year, we will be launching: a thinktank to describe and advocate for better open methods; some Open Analytics teaching; and more! So stay tuned, and as always…

Get in touch! At the DataLab we pride ourselves on developing our tools swiftly and iterating them based on the needs of our users. Please get in touch if you have any suggestions for our NICE prescribing dashboards or if we have missed some prescribing measures in NICE guidance – NICE do produce a lot of information. You can always find us at [email protected] or via twitter at https://twitter.com/openprescribing