Using data analytics to enhance quality improvement projects
Intended for healthcare professionals

Using data analytics to enhance quality improvement projects

Donna Goodfellow Digital lead nurse, Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust, London, England
James Bird Chief nurse information officer, Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust, London, England

Why you should read this article:
  • To recognise that the use of data analytics in healthcare and nursing practice can enhance the effectiveness of quality improvement projects

  • To increase your understanding of using data analytics and optimal presentation of results

  • To contribute towards revalidation as part of your 35 hours of CPD (UK readers)

  • To contribute towards your professional development and local registration renewal requirements (non-UK readers)

With the introduction of electronic health record systems in healthcare organisations, there is a significant opportunity within nursing, and as part of the multidisciplinary team, to access a wealth of data and use this to drive improvements in patient care and outcomes. Quality improvement has often involved the collection of data via manual audit, a time-consuming process with data fed back from small sample sizes over a short time period. In contrast, a data analytics approach enables data collection from larger sample sizes to be automated and for data to be presented in a way that is easy for staff to access and interpret. This article discusses the benefits and challenges of a data analytics approach as well as the resources required, the importance of stakeholder involvement, the setting and review of key performance indicators and how to optimise data presentation to achieve the greatest effect.

Nursing Management. doi: 10.7748/nm.2022.e2042

Peer review

This article has been subject to external double-blind peer review and checked for plagiarism using automated software


Conflict of interest

None declared

Goodfellow D, Bird J (2022) Using data analytics to enhance quality improvement projects. Nursing Management. doi: 10.7748/nm.2022.e2042


The authors would like to acknowledge and thank the following people for enabling the completion of their quality improvement project as part of the Florence Nightingale Digital Leadership Scholarship: Natasha Phillips (chief nursing information officer, NHSX) for her sponsorship and valuable insights and John Newton (director of public health analysis, Department of Health and Social Care) and the Florence Nightingale Foundation for support, leadership and mentorship throughout the scholarship during the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic

Published online: 17 May 2022

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