Blog

OpenPrescribing June 2022 Newsletter

Our latest newsletter including information on: Bennett Institute for Applied Data Science, we are recruiting, Goldacre Review, updated Outlier Dashboards, recent changes to OpenPrescribing Measures, OpenSAFELY news, and new data news.

Invitation: CIPHA-OpenSAFELY Introduction Event

CIPHA and OpenSAFELY are hosting an introduction event for researchers in the North West of England who would like to work with CIPHA data using OpenSAFELY.

Closing the STEM gap is a collective responsibility

Our policy lead, Jess Morley, discusses the challenges involved in closing the gap in representation and reward for women working in these fields, and what we in the Bennett Institute are trying to do to help lower some of the associated barriers.

OpenPrescribing December Newsletter

Our latest newsletter including information on: We are recruiting, recent changes to OpenPrescribing Measures, new Outlier Prescribing tool, maps update, recent research publications, OpenSAFELY news, and new data news.

First Impressions of a New Start

I joined Bennett Institute in August 2021 to work as a data scientist on OpenSAFELY. This blog post describes my experience getting up and running with the OpenSAFELY pipeline.

Exploring automated output checking with OpenSAFELY

This is a guest blog from the team at Cantabular, who have been exploring how their technology might fit into the OpenSAFELY ecosystem.

OpenSAFELY co-pilot programme: assisting users on their OpenSAFELY journey

All new users of the OpenSAFELY platform get access to our supportive co-pilot programme, where each new OpenSAFELY user is assigned a member of the OpenSAFELY team as their co-pilot for the duration of their project.

OpenSAFELY: Public Opinion

This week sees the publication of an independent Citizens' Jury commissioned for NHSx and the National Data Guardian which found that OpenSAFELY was by far the most strongly and consistently supported of all NHS COVID data projects examined.

OpenSAFELY: The Origin Story

On our first anniversary, from the Policy Lead in the Bennett Institute, this is the brief story of the positive side from all our lives: how OpenSAFELY came to life, and what we’ve achieved so far.

Citing and Crediting Codelists: A discussion for the research community

This is a draft discussion paper, the first of a series exploring “open team science” approaches to managing health data, and specifically how to create a collaborative computational data science ecosystem where the sharing and re-use of objects such as codelists and code is facilitated, encouraged, recognised, and rewarded. As a microcosm of this we have first explored “codelists”. There are currently no ‘answers’ or preferred solutions given. We will be holding an open discussion with the research community on 2nd March at 3pm - you can book to join us here.

OpenPrescribing Newsletter November 2020

We have been very busy since our last newsletter back in July and there are tonnes of exciting updates for you here! Measure Update: Total Oral Morphine Equivalence The Faculty of Pain Medicine has recently updated their recommendation on oral morphine equivalence (OME) which we use on our OpenPrescribing measure of OME. We have taken this opportunity to update and a new novel implementation of how we assess OME. Until this work is completed we have taken the decision to “suspend” the measure from dashboards however you can still view the old method using this link.

OpenSAFELY Cohort Extractor

This is the code for the OpenSAFELY cohort extractor tool which supports the authoring of OpenSAFELY-compliant research, by: Allowing developers to generate random data based on their study expectations. They can then use this as input data when developing analytic models. Supporting downloading of codelist CSVs from the OpenSAFELY codelists repository, for incorporation into the study definition Providing tools to understand and visualise the properties of real data, without having direct access to it It is also the mechanism by which cohorts are extracted from live database backends within the OpenSAFELY framework.

OpenSAFELY Job Runner

This is the repository for the OpenSAFELY job runner. A job runner is a service that encapsulates: the task of checking out an OpenSAFELY study repo; executing actions defined in its project.yaml configuration file when requested via a jobs queue; and storing its results in a particular locations. The documentation is aimed at developers looking for an overview of how the system works. It also has some parts relevant for end users, particularly the project.

OpenSAFELY Job Server

This is the code for the OpenSAFELY job server designed for mediating jobs that can be run in an OpenSAFELY secure environment. The Django app provides a simple REST API which provides a channel for communicating between low-security environments (which can request that jobs be run) and high-security environments (where jobs are run).

What is OpenSAFELY?

What is OpenSAFELY? Working on behalf of NHS England we have now built a full, open source, highly secure analytics platform running across the full pseudonymised primary care records of 24 million people, rising soon to 55 million, 95% of the population of England. We have pursued a new model: for privacy, security, low cost, and near-real-time data access, we have built the analytics platform inside the EHR data centre of the major EHR providers, where the data already resides; in addition we have built software that uses tiered increasingly non-disclosive tables to prevent researchers ever needing direct access to the disclosive underlying data to run analyses; code is developed against simulated data using open platforms before moving to the live data environment.

OpenPrescribing July Newsletter

OpenPrescribing and Bennett Institute Papers It has been a busy month for paper publication at The Bennett Institute. We have written a brief description of the most recent papers below. Please sharewith colleagues and get in touch if you have any relevant observations! Remember you can read all our academic papers related to OpenPrescribing on our research page. Hospital medicines data: We are frequently contacted at OpenPrescribing about when we are going to make a hospital version.

OpenPrescribing June Newsletter

Methotrexate Prescribing Safety — New paper in BJGP This week the British Journal of General Practice published our latest paper on unsafe prescribing of methotrexate. We found that the prevalence of unsafe methotrexate prescribing (10mg tablets) has reduced but remains common, with substantial variation between practices and CCGs. In the paper we also discuss recommendations for better strategies around implementation. Anyone can view the live data on unsafe methotrexate prescribing at openprescribing.

OpenPrescribing Newsletter May 2020

OpenSAFELY.org OpenSAFELY is a new secure analytics platform for electronic health records in the NHS, created to deliver urgent results during the global COVID-19 emergency. OpenSAFELY is a collaboration between the Bennett Institute, the EHR group at London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and TPP who produce SystmOne. OpenSAFELY is now successfully delivering analyses across more than 24 million patients' full pseudonymised primary care NHS records. The first analysis from OpenSAFELY is Factors associated with COVID-19-related hospital death in the linked electronic health records of 17 million adult NHS patients with more answers to important questions expected shortly.

Impact of COVID-19 on prescribing in English general practice: March 2020

OpenPrescribing.net has been updated this week with the latest release of prescribing data covering March 2020. In-depth analysis will be needed over the coming months, but this release gives us the first glimpse into the impact that COVID-19 has had on prescribing. At the Bennett Institute we have been quite busy with the new secure analytics platform OpenSAFELY but the following blog is a rapid analysis of the March prescribing data which others may find helpful to focus their own investigations.