EBA conference – Helsinki, September 2019

Lecture by Mr Ken Dunn

Opportunities with Big Data analysis in burn care

The long-term collection of carefully structured data from all burn services within each health economy (usually national) allows several important functions to be fulfilled when sufficient data has been accumulated. These include:

  • An ability to understand the demand for burn services alongside an assessment of the current use of the existing capacity to identify either economies of scale or occasional rebalancing of services.
  • A clear understanding of how burn services should be optimally organised to meet the demands of their catchment population.
  • The ability to serially assess factors which impact on mortality and length of stay amongst the burn care population.
  • An opportunity to develop quality assurance measures and assessment of services against standards developed by consensus to indicate whether services are behaving optimally and in some instances identify outlier services that may require additional support or guidance.
  • In the longer term it also allows the monitoring of the epidemiology of burn injury and the effectiveness or otherwise of prevention strategies, recognising that observations from a single service or a small group of services remain unconvincing.

The value of centralised information gathering about burn service activity in sufficient detail to inform these issues, amongst others such as performing power calculations for clinical research projects are powerful arguments for the creation and long term maintenance of such systems in all health economies globally.

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