Routinely Collected Data in Neurology Research

Neurologists in the UK are a limited resource and waiting lists for appointments in outpatient neurology services are frequently long. There is therefore a need to investigate how to improve the service in terms of both efficiency and patient experience – getting the right care to the right people in the right timeframe.

Large amounts of data are collected during a patient’s journey through the healthcare system, and although this is not collected expressly for the purpose of research it represents a rich resource of information that can be harnessed to answer questions about patient care and experience.

This project seeks to use routinely collected data to understand neurology outpatient services, and to investigate ways in which they could be improved. Approaches include:

  • An analysis of waiting times and frequency of testing, follow-up and discharge from a consultant led service.
  • A proposal of a methodology for identifying unexpected numbers of referrals for headache from GP surgeries.
  • An investigation into the use of State Sequence Analysis to identify common pathways though outpatient services and classify patient subgroups.