Building personalised risk maps to improve health outcomes


The role of preventative services in improving health outcomes has long been recognised. However, outcomes have frequently proven difficult to measure, particularly in relation to socioeconomic factors. At the same time, there is lack of investment in areas such as housing support and access to employment, which can potentially have a positive impact on health outcomes.

This talk will discuss the outcomes measurement system, developed by Inside Outcomes which builds personalised risk maps for individuals.

The risk map system is based on a methodology that identifies the full range of risks and protective factors that patients present with to health and wellbeing services. Examples of risks to individual health and wellbeing can range from being the victim of domestic abuse, to smoking, through to unmanaged blood pressure. The removal of these risks will generally lead to an improved health outcome.

The flexibility of the system allows it to be equally applicable in primary care, public health commissioned preventative services or more indirect health providers such as housing associations. Equally, as the system is applied in the same manner across very different service types it allows the outcomes from those services to be compared.

The seminar will trace the development of using risk maps with individuals, providing examples of their use, and how software has been developed to manage this process. The talk will also highlight the challenges of using such an approach with individuals, the different professional attitudes and the impact their use has had on people who commission services.

The talk will also look at how the risks identified in individuals can be linked to the range of National Outcome Frameworks such as the NHS Outcome Framework, Adult Social Care Framework and Public Health Outcome Framework. As these frameworks set the basis for priorities in commissioning services, relating day to day activity to them provides a credible evidence base for why services should continue.

By taking a holistic approach to managing the range of risks that people present to services we increase the chances of positive outcomes. The simultaneous management of social and clinical factors present an opportunity to support people to make sustainable changes in their lives. For example, a GP trying to support someone to manage stress and anxiety will get little traction unless other risks around substance misuse and homelessness are simultaneously managed. Through mapping all the issues a patient presents with we can provide a plan for how services can integrate around an individual.

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Darren Wright is a director of Inside Outcomes. Inside Outcomes is focussed on supporting organisations that work with individuals, in health and wellbeing, to demonstrate the impact they have. This covers a diverse range of agencies from small voluntary sector agencies to primary care. Previously Darren has worked across the NHS and local authorities designing and commissioning preventative services. He commissioned the Birmingham Life Expectancy Programme from 2008 to 2013 where he identified a need for better outcome measurement. He has also played a leading role, nationally in the develop of Health Overview and Scrutiny functions and the development of Health and Wellbeing Boards.