Improved Data for Improved Outcomes

Informatics for Improvement
Improved Data for Improved Outcomes – exploring how data can be optimised to facilitate improvements in primary care

What we know

NHS Scotland has multiple ways to systematically improve the quality, safety and efficiency of care.

A key gap in several areas is that it is difficult for clinicians and managers to access existing routine data. Routine data can be very helpful to identify areas for improvement or more intensive focus, or to evaluate the impact of improvement.

Project aim

This project aims to understand the data needs of improvers in primary care (both GPs and other front-line clinicians, and locality and health board managers), to rigorously research how best to design informatics tools to support improvement, and to map existing data resources in order to integrate them in a new NHS Scotland Primary Care Information dashboard (PCI).

What this research explores

This project has currently been suspended due to COVID-19;  but this series of linked studies and implementation projects, will recommence to:

(1) Identify the needs of different users.
(2) Develop and implement new systems of data exploration and analysis for clinicians and managers to use for improvement. 

The overall design is a mixed methods project involving qualitative work with NHS stakeholders to understand data needs, co-design of new ways of delivering data and information to support understanding of quality gaps and improvement, and academic-NHS collaboration to implement new informatics resources.  This collaborative model, combines the expertise and knowledge of researchers – from the Universities of Aberdeen, Dundee and Edinburgh and primary care practitioners to co-design new informatics tools that will be implemented by the NHS in Scotland. 

What this study will add

One of the elements of the project, is to support the implementation by NHS National Services Scotland of an improved Primary Care Information Dashboard, and to inform wider information and informatics design across NHS Scotland.


This project is led by Professor Emily Jefferson, Professor of Health Data Science, University of Dundee, in conjunction with colleagues from the University of Aberdeen, University of Edinburgh and NHS National Services Scotland.  This work will involve and be co-designed by primary care staff from across Scotland.  

For more information please contact SISCC (


Primary Care Information – PCI Dashboard 

A Guide to Primary Care Data Sources (2018) 

Usher Institute – University of Edinburgh 

Health Informatics Centre – University of  Dundee 

Health Services Research Unit –University of Aberdeen 

Primary care: national monitoring and evaluation strategy 

Scottish School of Primary Care 

NHS Research Scotland – Primary Care 

Scottish Government – Primary Care Services 

Scottish Patient Safety Programme – Primary Care