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Northern Norway Regional Health Authority is one of four regional health authorities in Norway and covers the counties of Finnmark, Nordland and Troms. It owns four health trusts: Finnmark Hospital Trust, University Hospital of North Norway, Nordland Hospital Trust, Helgeland Hospital Trust that operate the hospitals as well as 19 pharmacies. We spoke to Frank Olsen about mapping software and how it was used to create the Norway health atlas.
How did you find out about InstantAtlas?
A colleague of mine had used InstantAtlas mapping software to create a health atlas for north Norway. We were tasked with creating an atlas for the whole of Norway similar to the Right Care NHS atlas.
Could you tell us more about the project?
We had a visit from the Right Care team and decided that we could start off by looking at data on the 12 most common day surgery procedures which we finished in January 2015. This led on to a national assignment to create a health atlas for the whole of Norway. The aim was to use InstantAtlas to show variation in healthcare using hospital admissions data from all the hospitals in Norway.
Who uses the atlas?
It is used by national government to monitor variation in healthcare. There has been a great deal of interest from the Ministry of Health and Care Services which is using the atlas to challenge regional health trusts about documented variation in treatment. It is also used by leaders in the healthcare regions and regional health authorities for internal discussions about resource allocation.
What sort of feedback have you had?
We have had some good feedback. After we created the first atlas on day surgery we were asked to speak at a conference for surgeons and it was very well received. It was the first time they had seen this kind of data for the whole country. The atlas was particularly useful because it showed a significant variation in shoulder and meniscus surgery rates.
How will you be developing the atlases?
We have just created a new atlas in partnership with the Norwegian Paediatric Society using data on paediatrics admissions for children. Norway’s minister of health attended the launch.
What are the benefits of using InstantAtlas?
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Examples of Atlases from Norway
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