How to use the toolkit

About this resource

This resource aims to support applying learning to other clinical areas to improve health intelligence, taking a Learning Healthcare Systems approach.

How we developed this ‘toolkit’

This resource has been created using the Matter of Focus approach - a theory-based way of outcome monitoring and evaluation that builds on contribution analysis. In using this approach, we have gone through a logical and structured process of:

  • Reviewing the IHDP approach, activities and outcomes.
  • Developing a theory of change, expressed in five impact stories, which demonstrate IHDP’s contribution to progress.
  • Identifying the critical factors and change mechanisms involved.
  • Testing and refining our impact stories through discussion and reflection, with input from IHDP partners.
  • Identifying the guiding principles which featured in delivering IHDP’s outputs to date.
  • Identifying the types of resources that facilitated innovation and progress.
  • User engagement and testing, to understand how a resource of this type could support others to learn from the IHDP approach.

This toolkit contains a range of ‘components’ which are interlinked but can standalone.

You can use the components in various ways, for example, starting at a high level (e.g. the national vision for health data, or Guiding Principles) and then delving deeper, or starting at a detailed level (e.g. an impact story) and ‘lifting up’ to see the bigger picture and the approach taken.

IHDP Guiding Principles

IHDP is guided by the following principles in its approach and delivery. Throughout this resource, icons highlight examples of these principles in action.

See the full Guiding Principles for further details on how to take principles into action and reflective questions to support thinking and planning.

IHDP’s Guiding Principles reflect many key factors which are central to understanding and implementing change in complex healthcare systems, as outlined in our evidence review.

Have a clear vision of what you want to achieve

Be clear on your vision and make sure it’s clearly communicated. Take an agile and iterative approach to ensure plans respond to emerging needs.

Be willing to learn from others

Be outward looking and willing to learn from others’ knowledge and expertise - particularly those delivering health services.

Be curious

Be open to different ways of working and new ideas, and foster a ‘test and learn’ approach.

Pursue engagement and trust at all levels

Transparency and visibility at all levels are important to gain support for the change process, from the most senior levels to those ‘on the ground’ delivering services.

Building credibility and trust can take time, energy and persistence. It requires a measured and constructive use of effort and influence, and the ability to cascade that influence across organisations and sectors.

Balance pace and progress

Balance investing time to understand needs with moving with alacrity to ensure rapid progress.

Apply the right resource in the right place

Judicious application of the right resource in the right place can facilitate and drive collaboration, and expedite progress.

Further details about the types of resources used in the IHDP approach can be found at Resources for innovation.

Impact stories

The impact stories summarising the ways in which IHDP activities contributed to improved processes/outcomes are structured using six headings:

  • What we did
  • Who with
  • How they reacted
  • What they learned and gained
  • What changed
  • What difference will this make

Information about developing impact maps

The IHDP approach tells the story of the way IHDP approached the task of driving improvements in health outcomes through innovation with data and informatics.

The IHDP approach

A new approach to Scottish cancer intelligence shows how we:

  • Collaborated with Public Health Scotland to create the Scottish Cancer Registry and Intelligence Service (SCRIS).
  • Supported new technologies to develop national comparative reporting of Systemic Anti-Cancer Therapy (SACT) data for the first time.
  • Ensured the impact of SCRIS for clinicians, service managers and policy makers through focused engagement and communication efforts.

Cancer Innovation Challenge provides a case study of open innovation in data to improve care and outcomes for cancer patients.

Cancer Innovation Challenge

IHDP programme areas

Throughout the impact impact stories, this icon indicates where further detail and key learning on relevant work areas can be found in the IHDP programme areas overview.

Programmes of work