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Hospital Waiting List – Open Knowledge Ireland Workshop #1

Open Knowledge Ireland - May 17, 2017 in network, OK Ireland

This blog post is part of our on-going Network series featuring updates from chapters across the Open Knowledge Network and was written by the Open Knowledge Ireland team. This post was first published on 12th April 2017 by Flora Fleischer on OK Ireland’s website: https://openknowledge.ie/hwl1/ On the sunny Saturday of March 25th, Open Knowledge Ireland held a workshop powered by citizens which focused on discovering how Open Data can help the ever present Hospital Waiting List problem. With the workshop, we created a space to build engagement around open data and hospital waiting lists and offered participants a practical way to get involved. The workshop was possible because, in December 2016, the National Treatment Purchase Fund (NTPF) published Hospital Waiting List Data on data.gov.ie as machine readable data for the first time. Hospital Waiting List data can now be found here, here, and here. Hospital Waiting List Workshop #1 focused on identifying & discovering the patient journey, the data that is available, an operating model for use case creation using open data and a long list of potential use cases that for prioritisation at Hospital Waiting List Citizen Workshop #2. The workshop benefited from having experienced professionals from a range of new and disruptive fields of industries and expertise. On the day OK Ireland facilitated Data Analysts, Customer Experience SMEs, Technology Solution Consultants, Digital Natives, Students, and Coders. We also provided Open Data insights from Ireland and abroad and framed the topic for the day – ways of using open data to address the growing Hospital Waiting Lists in Ireland. Here is an account of Piush Vaish – a participant at the 1st Hospital Waiting List workshop citizen about how the day went. The post first appeared on his LinkedIn page.

Ways to Improve Hospital Waiting List Using Open Data

Ireland has one of the worst hospital’s waiting lists as a developed country. We all have or know someone who has experienced the uncertainty of the length of time to wait before seeing a specialist. We constantly wonder about our health while we wait, affecting not only our physical but mental health as well. For instance, I had to wait overnight to be seen by a specialist at Beaumont hospital. Therefore, when an opportunity came to tackle the problem of hospital waiting list using data, I had to do something. That chance came through a workshop/hackathon organised by Open Knowledge Ireland on 25th March 2017. It was the first in a series of hospital waiting list focused workshops held at Guinness Enterprise Center. Open Knowledge Ireland is a part of Open Knowledge International with the goal of opening all essential public interest information. It is a non-profit organisation dedicated to promoting open data and open content in all forms to create insights that drive change and benefit the public at large. When I arrived at the venue there was a short session where we got to know the other participants over a cup of tea and biscuits. The group of participants came from a different background with various different skill sets and industry experience. Some of them were UX designers, web/ application developers, statisticians, past participants and data scientists. However, we all had one reason to be at the workshop.
The motivation was to tackle a very real social problem as a group of experts and for our citizens by using public data about hospital waiting lists to make that information easily accessible for everybody.

Afterwards, we took up an office in a special set-up meeting room to learn about the work of Open Knowledge Ireland, what open data is and the reasons why we should be interested in the hospital waiting list data. Open Knowledge Ireland explained their mission, vision, and values. The hospital waiting list datasets are produced by the NTPF. Since July 2012, the NTPF is responsible for the publication of outpatient and inpatient waiting lists. However, they originally published this data in pdf format which is not considered an ‘open’ data format. It limits the usability of the data. Hence, Open Knowledge Ireland has worked over the last two years to create examples of how the Out-Patient Waiting List and Inpatient/Day Case Waiting List can be published in easily accessible format. They also worked together with the NTPF and the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform to get this data published in machine readable format. In December 2016 hospital waiting list data was for the first time made available in machine readable format on data.gov.ie. This now enables anyone to download the datasets and do any sort of analysis on it. The format of the workshop was unconference or open space conference. It was my first time attending such a conference. We were given a problem statement but we were free to tackle it in any way the group thought to be most useful to understand the problem more. The agenda was driven by the participants and their expertise in technology, digital, User Experience design, Digital, Analytics and backgrounds from various industries. There were no narrow topics pre-determined, no keynote speakers invited and no panel had been arranged – so the workshop was very interactive and very driven by the participants themselves. The topics to be discussed were refined through the participation of the attendees to problem statements that could be tackled and looked at in one day. If a session among a group did not inspire an attendee or was not contributing, then he/she were free to get up and find a different group. This enabled everyone to leverage and play on their strength, do research and contribute to understanding the problem statement based on their own experience. We convened at the individual breakout sessions to discuss the progress of each working group and share learning’s between the working groups. In my opinion, this process helped to apply ideas and empowered participants to share their ability. This offered an opportunity to have an unfiltered exchange of creative ideas. My first work group was working on mapping the journey for the patient right from getting a symptom till diagnosed by the specialist. The aim was to document the end to end experience of the patient through their perspective, understand how patients are interacting with their general practitioner or hospital, find pain points, identify areas for improvement and improve the experience moving forward.

mapping a patient’s journey: from getting a symptom to being diagnosed by a specialist

The visualisation inspired us to seek value-driven decisions based on a patient’s experience model of performance. There was another group who mapped a patient’s journey from A&E, how this journey is currently tracked and how the data is collated by one specific hospital. This was to understand the pain points that hospitals may come across when gathering and providing the data. Later, we swapped our findings to create a complete picture of the patient’s journey. I then swapped from the journey mapping group to another group that was working on data validation. It was essential for the long-term success of the project that the data is open, correct and useful. We ensured that the data gathered by NTPF was using data/statistical standards. While I was engaging with different groups, the other participants were engaged in data analysis, creating an API and researching the problem in other countries. The figure below shows an early view of the type of insights that can be generated using the hospital waiting list data that is available on data.gov.ie today. We also had a short video presentation by Bob Harper from Detail Data who created the Hospital Waiting List Dashboards that are available for Northern Ireland. He explained how he is using the data provided by NHS on his website to present information in a way that is more easily accessible to and understandable by the public in Northern Ireland. At the end of the day, we all presented our findings to the group and decided what we’ll focus on during the next workshop. Some of the points we aim to discuss in the next workshop are:
  • Understand existing Hospital Wait Time data publicly available in the Republic of Ireland
  •  Understand and highlight data gaps
  • Recommend additional data points required to build tools useful to citizens (suggest via data.gov.ie)
  •  Identify quick-win use cases and begin prototyping
  • Identify more complex use cases and next steps
If you are inspired by what we have achieved and interested to continue the journey to empower the public please register your interest by attending the next workshop: Hospital Waiting List Citizen Workshop #2. Contact: flora.fleischer@openknowledge.ie

Hospital Waiting List – Open Knowledge Ireland Workshop #1

Open Knowledge Ireland - May 17, 2017 in network, OK Ireland

This blog post is part of our on-going Network series featuring updates from chapters across the Open Knowledge Network and was written by the Open Knowledge Ireland team. This post was first published on 12th April 2017 by Flora Fleischer on OK Ireland’s website: https://openknowledge.ie/hwl1/ On the sunny Saturday of March 25th, Open Knowledge Ireland held a workshop powered by citizens which focused on discovering how Open Data can help the ever present Hospital Waiting List problem. With the workshop, we created a space to build engagement around open data and hospital waiting lists and offered participants a practical way to get involved. The workshop was possible because, in December 2016, the National Treatment Purchase Fund (NTPF) published Hospital Waiting List Data on data.gov.ie as machine readable data for the first time. Hospital Waiting List data can now be found here, here, and here. Hospital Waiting List Workshop #1 focused on identifying & discovering the patient journey, the data that is available, an operating model for use case creation using open data and a long list of potential use cases that for prioritisation at Hospital Waiting List Citizen Workshop #2. The workshop benefited from having experienced professionals from a range of new and disruptive fields of industries and expertise. On the day OK Ireland facilitated Data Analysts, Customer Experience SMEs, Technology Solution Consultants, Digital Natives, Students, and Coders. We also provided Open Data insights from Ireland and abroad and framed the topic for the day – ways of using open data to address the growing Hospital Waiting Lists in Ireland. Here is an account of Piush Vaish – a participant at the 1st Hospital Waiting List workshop citizen about how the day went. The post first appeared on his LinkedIn page.

Ways to Improve Hospital Waiting List Using Open Data

Ireland has one of the worst hospital’s waiting lists as a developed country. We all have or know someone who has experienced the uncertainty of the length of time to wait before seeing a specialist. We constantly wonder about our health while we wait, affecting not only our physical but mental health as well. For instance, I had to wait overnight to be seen by a specialist at Beaumont hospital. Therefore, when an opportunity came to tackle the problem of hospital waiting list using data, I had to do something. That chance came through a workshop/hackathon organised by Open Knowledge Ireland on 25th March 2017. It was the first in a series of hospital waiting list focused workshops held at Guinness Enterprise Center. Open Knowledge Ireland is a part of Open Knowledge International with the goal of opening all essential public interest information. It is a non-profit organisation dedicated to promoting open data and open content in all forms to create insights that drive change and benefit the public at large. When I arrived at the venue there was a short session where we got to know the other participants over a cup of tea and biscuits. The group of participants came from a different background with various different skill sets and industry experience. Some of them were UX designers, web/ application developers, statisticians, past participants and data scientists. However, we all had one reason to be at the workshop.
The motivation was to tackle a very real social problem as a group of experts and for our citizens by using public data about hospital waiting lists to make that information easily accessible for everybody.

Afterwards, we took up an office in a special set-up meeting room to learn about the work of Open Knowledge Ireland, what open data is and the reasons why we should be interested in the hospital waiting list data. Open Knowledge Ireland explained their mission, vision, and values. The hospital waiting list datasets are produced by the NTPF. Since July 2012, the NTPF is responsible for the publication of outpatient and inpatient waiting lists. However, they originally published this data in pdf format which is not considered an ‘open’ data format. It limits the usability of the data. Hence, Open Knowledge Ireland has worked over the last two years to create examples of how the Out-Patient Waiting List and Inpatient/Day Case Waiting List can be published in easily accessible format. They also worked together with the NTPF and the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform to get this data published in machine readable format. In December 2016 hospital waiting list data was for the first time made available in machine readable format on data.gov.ie. This now enables anyone to download the datasets and do any sort of analysis on it. The format of the workshop was unconference or open space conference. It was my first time attending such a conference. We were given a problem statement but we were free to tackle it in any way the group thought to be most useful to understand the problem more. The agenda was driven by the participants and their expertise in technology, digital, User Experience design, Digital, Analytics and backgrounds from various industries. There were no narrow topics pre-determined, no keynote speakers invited and no panel had been arranged – so the workshop was very interactive and very driven by the participants themselves. The topics to be discussed were refined through the participation of the attendees to problem statements that could be tackled and looked at in one day. If a session among a group did not inspire an attendee or was not contributing, then he/she were free to get up and find a different group. This enabled everyone to leverage and play on their strength, do research and contribute to understanding the problem statement based on their own experience. We convened at the individual breakout sessions to discuss the progress of each working group and share learning’s between the working groups. In my opinion, this process helped to apply ideas and empowered participants to share their ability. This offered an opportunity to have an unfiltered exchange of creative ideas. My first work group was working on mapping the journey for the patient right from getting a symptom till diagnosed by the specialist. The aim was to document the end to end experience of the patient through their perspective, understand how patients are interacting with their general practitioner or hospital, find pain points, identify areas for improvement and improve the experience moving forward.

mapping a patient’s journey: from getting a symptom to being diagnosed by a specialist

The visualisation inspired us to seek value-driven decisions based on a patient’s experience model of performance. There was another group who mapped a patient’s journey from A&E, how this journey is currently tracked and how the data is collated by one specific hospital. This was to understand the pain points that hospitals may come across when gathering and providing the data. Later, we swapped our findings to create a complete picture of the patient’s journey. I then swapped from the journey mapping group to another group that was working on data validation. It was essential for the long-term success of the project that the data is open, correct and useful. We ensured that the data gathered by NTPF was using data/statistical standards. While I was engaging with different groups, the other participants were engaged in data analysis, creating an API and researching the problem in other countries. The figure below shows an early view of the type of insights that can be generated using the hospital waiting list data that is available on data.gov.ie today. We also had a short video presentation by Bob Harper from Detail Data who created the Hospital Waiting List Dashboards that are available for Northern Ireland. He explained how he is using the data provided by NHS on his website to present information in a way that is more easily accessible to and understandable by the public in Northern Ireland. At the end of the day, we all presented our findings to the group and decided what we’ll focus on during the next workshop. Some of the points we aim to discuss in the next workshop are:
  • Understand existing Hospital Wait Time data publicly available in the Republic of Ireland
  •  Understand and highlight data gaps
  • Recommend additional data points required to build tools useful to citizens (suggest via data.gov.ie)
  •  Identify quick-win use cases and begin prototyping
  • Identify more complex use cases and next steps
If you are inspired by what we have achieved and interested to continue the journey to empower the public please register your interest by attending the next workshop: Hospital Waiting List Citizen Workshop #2. Contact: flora.fleischer@openknowledge.ie

Season Greetings from OK Ireland and 2016 in review

Oscar Montiel - January 5, 2017 in Community Stories, OK Ireland

Our warm season greetings to all friends of Open Knowledge
As we approach the final days of this year, we would like to say thank you to everyone who supported or attended an Open Knowledge event and helped to build on the ideas and actions for a more open government and an Irish open data agenda that has the citizen at its forefront. 2016 has been an extraordinary year for Open Knowledge Ireland – It was a year in which we dared to ask for Irish hospital waiting lists to be published as open, accessible data and we have achieved this right before everyone went on their well-deserved Christmas holidays (Link). We have been advocating that for open data to be useful and to make a difference in the lives of people it has to be put in use. In order for businesses, civic groups or individuals to invest their time, talents and money into making open data useful, it must be seen as a digital public infrastructure and it must be permanent, linkable and trustful. The Open Knowledge volunteer team organized and participated in events tried out new technologies and demonstrated the usefulness of open data.  
Here are some of the things we did and advocated for in 2016:
In JANUARY, in collaboration with Wikimedia Ireland, we facilitated an open platform and debate on how open health data can save lives and help all of us to make better-informed decisions about health matters. We presented how IPFS can be potentially used for long-term data preservation. Round Up by Caroline Carswell of Sound Advice Our Slides We held an explanatory workshop on the web of the future, also known as IPFS
☑︎ In Dublin on Thurs, 21st?
☑︎ Want 2 know how #IPFS works?
☑︎ Join workshop w/@juanbenet & @ingo_keck: https://t.co/qWT3LMav8I#opensource

— Open Knowledge IRL (@OKFirl) January 19, 2016

In FEBRUARY we shared our open data experiences [slides] and vision [slides] for long-term knowledge preservation with a delegation from NTT, Japan, which was visiting Dublin. In MARCH  the Open Government Partnership Mid-term report on the progress of the Irish National OGP Action Plan was launched. In MAY we presented the Hospital Waiting List project and spoke about the importance of the preservation of open knowledge for future generations at the Knowledge for Health conference, organized by the Institute of Public Health In JUNE we held an event dedicated to the preservation of an ever increasing amount of knowledge created by humankind today for generations of the future. Speakers and panelists included:
  • Dr. Rufus Pollock, founder of Open Knowledge International
  • Stanislav Nazarenko, Open Knowledge Ireland core team member and the founder of Nihonto Club, an online community dedicated to the appreciation and preservation of Japanese swords and the largest public database of Japanese metalwork artists
  • Dr. Kalpana Shankar, Head of School of Information and Communication Studies, University College Dublin
Photos   In JULY we were invited to the Isle of Man to share our open data experiences at the  #offcamp unconference. We took this opportunity to highlight the importance of trust in data. 160730-OffCamp-155 Photos  
In AUGUST we helped to map the Kingdom of Lesotho at an event dedicated to the 10th anniversary of the open street map which was kindly hosted by the Embassy of the Kingdom of Lesotho in Dublin.
  In SEPTEMBER and continuing to December we contributed to the second Irish Open Government Partnership National Action Plan ensuring that plans are shared with a wider audience. Alongside a host of other organizations, individuals and companies we made several submissions to the drafting of the OGP Action Plan and in 2017 we are looking to help establish a set of guidelines for citizen participation in order to build an appropriate accountability mechanism for its implementation. Our submissions are here.   In OCTOBER we co-organised a half-day workshop together with the Institute of Public Health dedicated to “Open Access: Tackling Health Inequalities”. The outcomes of the workshop showed that the technological advances of today are giving rise to a growing catalogue of international best practices and opportunities for making knowledge universally fair, accessible, interoperable and reusable.


In NOVEMBER our colleague Dr. Ingo Keck delivered a presentation on the challenges the open data agenda faces today. At an event in Berlin dedicated to World Usability Day, he raised important questions about the sustainability of open data beyond today and tomorrow.

 

Open Data has to be seen in the context of empowering citizens to make informed decisions. Without information, a citizen can not decide in an informed way who to vote for, so democracy can not work without open information. But open data is not a cause in itself. It also means that people must be able to understand the data easily, be able to access it without problems and be able to work with it. Only then will people realise the importance of open data and only then will „opening up“ data be sustainable. Open Data, Usability and Sustainability therefore can not be separated.” – Dr Ingo Keck

What are we planning to do in 2017?
In 2017 the Open Knowledge Ireland team are going to focus their energy on Healthcare data and making it relevant and useful to the Irish people. Our team will concentrate on planning and run 4 events aiming at working closely together with  DPER’s Open Data Engagement plan, the NTPF, and the HSE and continue to demonstrate how open data can save real-world problems. We have a long way to go until Open Data will become a critical public infrastructure in Ireland and beyond: permanent, linked and secure. Open data must be accessible, interoperable and findable in order to help a real person to make decisions on the daily basis.  It is clear to us that such an infrastructure needs to be designed, built and maintained, which requires human and financial resources.
So in 2017 we want to do a whole lot more and we would love if you might contribute a small gift to help us do that. Your support will help every element of our work in the new year and support Open Knowledge Ireland as a hub for individuals, organizations and their ideas that form a major driving force of the open data and open government agenda in Ireland. And we look forward to seeing you at Open Knowledge events and initiatives many times in the New Year.
With thanks to our Open Knowledge Ireland colleagues: Flora, Salua, Ingo, Adrian, Shawn, Stan, Eugene, and Denis. And many thanks to our everyone who collaborated with us in 2016, especially Open Street Map Ireland, WikiMedia Ireland, the Institute of Public Health, TCube, and the Science Gallery.
We hope you all had a great Christmas time and we wish you the very best in 2017!

Best wishes, Open Knowledge Ireland

Season Greetings from OK Ireland and 2016 in review

Denis Parfenov - January 5, 2017 in community, OK Ireland

This blog post is part of our on-going Community series featuring updates from chapters across the Open Knowledge Network and was written by the team of Open Knowledge Ireland and edited by Flora Fleischer and Siobhan Denham.
Our warm season greetings to all friends of Open Knowledge
As we approach the final days of this year, we would like to say thank you to everyone who supported or attended an Open Knowledge event and helped to build on the ideas and actions for a more open government and an Irish open data agenda that has the citizen at its forefront. 2016 has been an extraordinary year for Open Knowledge Ireland – It was a year in which we dared to ask for Irish hospital waiting lists to be published as open, accessible data and we have achieved this right before everyone went on their well-deserved Christmas holidays (Link). We have been advocating that for open data to be useful and to make a difference in the lives of people it has to be put in use. In order for businesses, civic groups or individuals to invest their time, talents and money into making open data useful, it must be seen as a digital public infrastructure and it must be permanent, linkable and trustful. The Open Knowledge volunteer team organized and participated in events tried out new technologies and demonstrated the usefulness of open data.  
Here are some of the things we did and advocated for in 2016:
In JANUARY, in collaboration with Wikimedia Ireland, we facilitated an open platform and debate on how open health data can save lives and help all of us to make better-informed decisions about health matters. We presented how IPFS can be potentially used for long-term data preservation. Round Up by Caroline Carswell of Sound Advice Our Slides We held an explanatory workshop on the web of the future, also known as IPFS
☑︎ In Dublin on Thurs, 21st?
☑︎ Want 2 know how #IPFS works?
☑︎ Join workshop w/@juanbenet & @ingo_keck: https://t.co/qWT3LMav8I#opensource

— Open Knowledge IRL (@OKFirl) January 19, 2016

In FEBRUARY we shared our open data experiences [slides] and vision [slides] for long-term knowledge preservation with a delegation from NTT, Japan, which was visiting Dublin. In MARCH  the Open Government Partnership Mid-term report on the progress of the Irish National OGP Action Plan was launched. In MAY we presented the Hospital Waiting List project and spoke about the importance of the preservation of open knowledge for future generations at the Knowledge for Health conference, organized by the Institute of Public Health In JUNE we held an event dedicated to the preservation of an ever increasing amount of knowledge created by humankind today for generations of the future. Speakers and panelists included:
  • Dr. Rufus Pollock, founder of Open Knowledge International
  • Stanislav Nazarenko, Open Knowledge Ireland core team member and the founder of Nihonto Club, an online community dedicated to the appreciation and preservation of Japanese swords and the largest public database of Japanese metalwork artists
  • Dr. Kalpana Shankar, Head of School of Information and Communication Studies, University College Dublin
Photos   In JULY we were kindly invited by Graeme Jones to the Isle of Man to share our open data experiences at the  #offcamp unconference. We took this opportunity to highlight the importance of trust in data. 160730-OffCamp-155 Photos  
In AUGUST we helped to map the Kingdom of Lesotho at an event dedicated to the 10th anniversary of the open street map which was kindly hosted by the Embassy of the Kingdom of Lesotho in Dublin.
  In SEPTEMBER and continuing to December we contributed to the second Irish Open Government Partnership National Action Plan ensuring that plans are shared with a wider audience. Alongside a host of other organizations, individuals and companies we made several submissions to the drafting of the OGP Action Plan and in 2017 we are looking to help establish a set of guidelines for citizen participation in order to build an appropriate accountability mechanism for its implementation. Our submissions are here.   In OCTOBER we co-organised a half-day workshop together with the Institute of Public Health dedicated to “Open Access: Tackling Health Inequalities”. The outcomes of the workshop showed that the technological advances of today are giving rise to a growing catalogue of international best practices and opportunities for making knowledge universally fair, accessible, interoperable and reusable.


In NOVEMBER our colleague Dr. Ingo Keck delivered a presentation on the challenges the open data agenda faces today. At an event in Berlin dedicated to World Usability Day, he raised important questions about the sustainability of open data beyond today and tomorrow.

 

Open Data has to be seen in the context of empowering citizens to make informed decisions. Without information, a citizen can not decide in an informed way who to vote for, so democracy can not work without open information. But open data is not a cause in itself. It also means that people must be able to understand the data easily, be able to access it without problems and be able to work with it. Only then will people realise the importance of open data and only then will „opening up“ data be sustainable. Open Data, Usability and Sustainability therefore can not be separated.” – Dr Ingo Keck

What are we planning to do in 2017?
In 2017 the Open Knowledge Ireland team are going to focus their energy on Healthcare data and making it relevant and useful to the Irish people. Our team will concentrate on planning and run 4 events aiming at working closely together with  DPER’s Open Data Engagement plan, the NTPF, and the HSE and continue to demonstrate how open data can save real-world problems. We have a long way to go until Open Data will become a critical public infrastructure in Ireland and beyond: permanent, linked and secure. Open data must be accessible, interoperable and findable in order to help a real person to make decisions on the daily basis.  It is clear to us that such an infrastructure needs to be designed, built and maintained, which requires human and financial resources.
So in 2017 we want to do a whole lot more and we would love if you might contribute a small gift to help us do that. Your support will help every element of our work in the new year and support Open Knowledge Ireland as a hub for individuals, organizations and their ideas that form a major driving force of the open data and open government agenda in Ireland. And we look forward to seeing you at Open Knowledge events and initiatives many times in the New Year.
With thanks to our Open Knowledge Ireland colleagues: Flora, Salua, Ingo, Adrian, Shawn, Stan, Eugene, and Denis. And many thanks to our everyone who collaborated with us in 2016, especially Open Street Map Ireland, WikiMedia Ireland, the Institute of Public Health, TCube, and the Science Gallery.
We hope you all had a great Christmas time and we wish you the very best in 2017!

Best wishes, Open Knowledge Ireland