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Data Visualisation


NHS National Services Scotland ISD Scotland & NHS National Services Scotland

Scottish Patients at Risk of Admission and Re-admission (SPARRA)

Data Visualisation

Please note that although not technically “patients”, individuals need to have had contact with healthcare and assumed the role of a patient at some time to appear in the SPARRA report. For clarity individuals are referred to as patients.

Now in Version 3, SPARRA uses a statistical model called logistic regression to calculate a risk score for approximately 80% of the Scottish population (~4.2 million). The risk score is a number ranging from 1 to 99 that indicates the % chance that a patient will undergo an emergency admission in the next 12 months.

Summary Data

SPARRA categorises patients into 3 distinct cohorts:

Patients with a SPARRA score by cohort

Almost 80% of patient’s with a SPARRA score are within the LTC cohort: namely patient’s who’ve been diagnosed with, or received a prescription for, a long-term condition.

Data can also be aggregated by geographical area:

NHS board population by Risk Score Group

The majority of the population of every Healthboard (73-80%) have a SPARRA score of 10% or less.

We can also look at data by distinct variables to identify trends:

Mean SPARRA Score by Age Group

When considering mean or average SPARRA scores across Healthboards, it can be seen that risk of emergency admission generally increases with age.

This chart below shows the ratio of patients with what we consider a high risk of admission (>40% score):

Patients with a Risk Score >=40% per 1000 population (July 2013)

We can see that higher SPARRA risk scores are more common in the West of Scotland.

These data can also be split by local authority area:

Patients with a Risk Score >=40% per 1000 population by local authority

Care Home Data

SPARRA includes a variety of supporting data; below we can see the breakdown of SPARRA scores by Healthboard for patients who are in a care home:

NHS Board Care Home Population by Risk Score Group

Care Home patients tend to have higher SPARRA scores than non-care home patients.

Patient Trajectories

SPARRA data builds up over time to allow the analysis of patient trajectories:

SPARRA trajectory

In this example several attendances to A&E and an actual emergency admission cause the score to increase in Q4 2012 followed by further emergency admissions in Q1 2013.

We can also combine SPARRA trajectories with local data. In this case we can see that once this patient has been admitted to a community ward their SPARRA score levels off. It is our goal in the future to incorporate intervention data like this into the SPARRA model as this data if available would actually cause the SPARRA score to decline if incorporate into the model.


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