HES WebEnablement


Clininf WebEnablement –  HES Dermatology

Enabling summary Web access to Hospital Episodes Statistics

N.B. Information Governance: Hospital Episode Statistics (HES) data are only made available for use within the terms of their licence.  This version is only for use by the study team & to make one-line-per-patient data available to clinical teams directly responsible for patients’ clinical care.
The online system is currently accessible from authorised users through http://webenablehes.clininf.eu

Project Summary

Every year, HES publishes tables of data relating to admitted patient care in NHS hospitals in England.  They contain information relating to more than 13 million records and cover a range of topics, including operations and diagnoses.

The Clinical Informatics Research Group at the University of Surrey was provided with access to a substantial set of HES data and for a range of years.  Together with Thoughtified Ltd, the Group processed the set, utilising the same advanced data processing, cleansing and filtering methods used for its large-dataset studies and produced a database that consists of dermatology specialty subsets.

The aim of this project is to enable access to the aforementioned database, directly from the Web, and provide an intuitive environment for browsing, and further filtering and sorting of the underlying data.

System Overview

The System is developed primarily using Ruby on Rails and MySQL.  Ruby on Rails is an open source agile web development framework.  MySQL is a powerful open source database. 

It has a web front-end, which uses HTML/CSS and JavaScript (jQuery) to present data provided by the database.  The database is mapped onto the web framework so that underlying data can be managed effectively.

The dataset is storred in a powerful MySQL database.  The database is optimised to ensure that data is retrieved accurately and efficiently. 

Below, a screenshot of the record listing of the Web system:


Information Governance

The Hospital Episode Statistics (HES) data in this database must ONLY be used according to the guidance and terms and conditions for using these data.  This particularly restricts to use of one-line-per-patient data to: (1) People who have consent from HES to conduct a particular study; (2) Processing any identifiable data – this is likely to require research ethics committee (REC) approval and approval from the Ethics and Confidentiality Committee (ECC) http://www.nigb.nhs.uk/ecc of the National Information Governance Board (NIGB); (3) To those with day-to-day clinical responsibility for the clinical management of patients.

Other useful links to key information about HES data are shown below:

You can download the information leaflet with a short user guide by clicking here.

Please use our contact form for any questions related to WebEnable HES.