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NSS Discovery

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NHS National Services Scotland ISD Scotland & NHS National Services Scotland

NSS Discovery

NSS Discovery is a browser based system hosted by NHS National Services Scotland (NSS) and is only available via an N3 connection/ Scottish Wide Area Network (SWAN) connection.

The system contains indicators which have been predominantly aligned to 6 strands of the 2020 vision: Efficient, Safe, Timely, Person Centred, Effective and Equitable.

Indicators within NSS Discovery can be viewed from an NHS Scotland Board of Treatment/ Residence perspective and the comparative NHS Scotland health information contained within the system will enable NHS Scotland Boards to determine their performance against specific criteria compared to their peers (English and Scottish) and identify opportunities for driving improvement. It will also facilitate the identification of areas where deployment of resource could be targeted more effectively to better address local populations' health and care needs.

NSS Discovery enables an authorised user to drill down through indicators from a topology perspective (Level 1) of the data all the way down to person centred information (Level3) dependent upon user security access approvals. RAG (Red, Amber or Green) status calculated using Inter Quartile Ranges (IQR) and significance tests for most indicators exist within the NSS Discovery system.

The indicators at launch in April 2015 cover; A&E, Admissions, Re-admissions, Potentially preventable admissions, Day case rates, Cancellations, Outpatients, Length of Stay, QOF, Maternity etc .

The number and range of indicators within NSS Discovery will grow over time to support the NHS Boards to meet their 2020 vision ambitions.

The key information levels within NSS Discovery are described below:

Level 1 Strategic

At this level, the data is presented at an aggregate level and calculated using standardised rates. Peer comparisons are possible by NHS Scotland Board of Treatment/ Residence/ Specialty. All NSS Discovery users can see other health board details at this level e.g. NHS Tayside can see NHS Grampian's data and vice-versa.

Level 2 Analytics

At this level, the user can only view information from within their host organisation e.g. a NHS Lothian User can only view NHS Lothian Data. The information is calculated using crude rates with Peer information being provided at an aggregated peer value. Due to the ability to filter on Specialty/ Age/ Sex etc, there is a potential for the data at this level to be disclosive

Level 3 Confidential

At this level data is presented in tabular form and provides confidential person identifiable information. When a number is selected in the table, person centred listings of the selected cohort are presented. Access at this level can be further restricted by your health board Caldicott to authorised GMC codes or across appropriate data sources.

For more information, please refer to the NSS Discovery website.


To find out more about NSS Discovery, please contact

Accessing NSS Discovery

A username and password is required to access the system. Applications for access to NSS Discovery are considered via the User Access System (UAS). This system will also automate the 6-monthly or annual renewal/review process administered by an automated e-mail to users and authorisers.

If access is not regularly reviewed and renewed, access will be removed on the relevant expiry date which is clearly shown for each data mart within the UAS.

User Access System

If you have any questions regarding UAS or need assistance, please contact the Product Support helpdesk by e-mail or by telephone on 0131 275 7050.


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