Barriers and facilitators of use of analytics for strategic health and care decision-making: a qualitative study of senior health and care leaders' perspectives

Elizabeth Ingram, Silvie Cooper, Sarah Beardon, Katherine Körner, Helen I McDonald, Sue Hogarth, Manuel Gomes, Jessica Sheringham

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (SciVal)


OBJECTIVE: This study investigated the barriers and facilitators that senior leaders' experience when using knowledge generated from the analysis of administrative health or care records ('analytics') to inform strategic health and care decision-making.

SETTING: One London-based sustainability and transformation partnership (STP) in England, as it was on the cusp of forming an integrated care system (ICS).

PARTICIPANTS: 20 senior leaders, including health and social care commissioners, public health leads and health providers. Participants were eligible for inclusion if they were a senior leader of a constituent organisation of the STP and involved in using analytics to make decisions for their own organisations or health and care systems.

DESIGN: Semi-structured interviews conducted between January 2020 and March 2020 and analysed using the framework method to generate common themes.

RESULTS: Organisational fragmentation hindered use of analytics by creating siloed data systems, barriers to data sharing and different organisational priorities. Where trusted and collaborative relationships existed between leaders and analysts, organisational barriers were circumvented and access to and support for analytics facilitated. Trusted and collaborative relationships between individual leaders of different organisations also aided cross-organisational priority setting, which was a key facilitator of strategic health and care decision-making and use of analytics. Data linked across health and care settings were viewed as an enabler of use of analytics for decision-making, while concerns around data quality often stopped analytics use as a part of decision-making, with participants relying more so on expert opinion or intuition.

CONCLUSIONS: The UK Governments' 2021 White Paper set out aspirations for data to transform care. While necessary, policy changes to facilitate data sharing across organisations will be insufficient to realise this aim. Better integration of organisations with aligned priorities could support and sustain cross-organisational relationships between leaders and analysts, and leaders of different organisations, to facilitate use of analytics in decision-making.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)e055504
JournalBMJ Open
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 17 Feb 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • England
  • Health Services
  • Humans
  • London
  • Organizations
  • Qualitative Research


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