case study
Published: 18 December 2018

Knowledge Transfer Partnership: AT Medics

This Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) project brought about a winning collaboration between London-based GP  providers AT Medics and the University of Surrey’s Departments of Clinical & Experimental Medicine and Computer Science and the Surrey Business School. The KTP set out to plan, develop and implement a Primary Care Quality Dashboard (PCQD) system to measure quality of care, performance, evaluate innovation and expansion opportunities in a leading provider of GP services.

Duke of Kent Building and lake

Fast facts

  • Aided the progression of AT Medics’ healthcare business intelligence capabilities
  • Significant business transformation on many levels
  • Ability to assess, compare, evaluate and improve performance across all sites
  • Ability to gain new knowledge from patient data
  • Commercialisation of Quality Dashboard and training in to new markets
  • Ability to affect major improvement in Flu vaccination programme
  • Up-skilling of company staff and setting the business up for growth
  • Formed the foundation for ongoing collaboration with the University
  • Established a spin-out company to provide digital healthcare technology.

The company: AT Medics

Established in 2004, AT Medics are London’s largest primary care provider, caring for over 270,000 patients through 37 Primary Care Sites in 16 London regions.

"Our business intelligence solution has become the nucleus of our business. It is used to help inform decision making, whilst drawing attention and a national reputation as a solution for GPs and providers everywhere. Working with Surrey has been a great pleasure and very useful."

Dr Aumran Tahir, GP Director & Founder AT Medics

AT Medics were formed by a group of ambitious and innovative GPs who sensed the changing times of Primary Care. The company was providing multi-site primary care across London and wanted to differentiate itself from others by the quality of its service. A limitation to growth was the inability to manage a growing portfolio of practices and a need for better systems to evaluate innovation.

The KTP resulted in the progression of AT Medics’ business intelligence capabilities. This included decision support through valuable insights into anonymised patient data but also allowed rapid assessment, comparison, evaluation and improvement to performance in each GP surgery or at-scale across the organisation.

The resulting healthcare business intelligence solution - a Primary Care Quality Dashboard (PCQD) system was produced by GPs both working at the coal-face and in academic circles, and is meaningfully used to improve patient care. 

The legacy of the KTP is the commercialisation of this solution through AT Medics’ technology partner, AT Tech, established to deliver health technology solutions to the NHS and other healthcare settings. This will continue to attract AT Medics’ investment in innovation and research as an organisation renowned for a strong culture of innovation and the necessary in-house skills and capabilities to produce new and improved solutions.
 

The partnership with the Surrey was vital to the KTP, providing access to leading-edge academic expertise and facilities. This relationship has carved a route for future collaboration that will further support the company as a whole.

The KTP Programme was flexible enough to allow the partnership to realign the project with changing demands. The company strategy was to maintain and improve quality of care, commercialising key products in the UK and abroad, and to manage our internal health and oversight. 

The ‘Dashboard’ produced as a result of the KTP gained recognition within NHS England which has, in turn, improved the company’s brand and helped to seal AT Medics’ reputation as a strong and innovative provider. 

Benefits 

A very proactive KTP Associate, working across all areas of the company, gaining valuable experience throughout the KTP.

Process and culture changes within the company with increased technical know-how, greater skill in advanced analytics and data science applied in complex projects.

Knowledge gained beyond the programme itself through valued support from the KT Adviser. The collaboration with the University opened many doors and provided access to a wide range of expertise. The Company Director received an honorary degree.

Results 

  • Expanded from 15 to 37 sites across London, and from 70k patients to now serving 270k.
  • Enabled AT Medics to maximise quality (and, therefore, income) whilst maintaining a relatively low management overhead.
  • Moved from spending resources collecting and validating data from various channels to a bespoke automated data integration solution.
  • Ability to compare every practice in the company’s portfolio with over 400 metrics.
  • Now on-boarding (a new practice) is significantly accelerated, so AT Medics can rapidly assess a practice and act quickly to improve everything from public health targets to medication errors.

The Associate: Dr Alireza Ettefaghian

Alireza was given real responsibilities, taking ownership of the KTP project with the objective of helping the organisation to innovate and grow. Thus, he offered new ideas and developed relationships across the organisation.

"KTP is a unique and exciting opportunity to lead a strategic project in an industrial setting whilst maintaining connections with academia. I received invaluable support from the company, the KT Adviser and, importantly, the University team who helped aid my development and accelerate my career path."

Dr Alireza Ettefaghian, KTP Associate

The Associate led the development of a unique business intelligence platform, which was commercialised as “EZ Analytics”, to measure the quality of care, highlighting bottlenecks within clinical and non-clinical performance indicators for the company.

This enabled the company to become a data-driven/results-led organisation with improved care quality outcomes. The completion of the KTP made AT Medics more product-focused rather than delivery-focused. Alireza played a pivotal role in embedding the principles of good scientific research into AT Medics’ business planning and tactical operations with processes that will support the company’s plans for further innovation and growth over the next five years.

Benefits

Gained in-depth experience of the NHS and Primary Care as well as exposure to wider industry challenges that helped me to develop.

Fast-track career development, employed by the company (post-KTP) as a senior member of the management team.

The KTP Associate made full use of his training budget, investing in both professional and technical qualifications including Lean Six Sigma, Agile Project Management and CMI Level 5 Certificate in Leadership and Management.

Results

  • Matured expertise in bringing together the characteristics required to develop a commercial product, with product market fit for the NHS.
  • Established a new Business Intelligence Department within the company.

The Academic Partner: University of Surrey

"The KTP enabled us to better understand the needs of an established SME delivering primary medical care and saw our expertise help AT Medics innovate and grow."

Prof Simon de Lusignan, Department of Clinical & Experimental Medicine

Benefits

The KTP was a great opportunity to work with, and appreciate, at first hand, the challenges faced by a leading primary care provider in the UK and apply academic expertise to solve real-world problems.

The KTP was a chance for the academic team to gain valuable insights which might inform university teaching and research and result in publications in key medical journals.

Results

  • Provided case studies for advanced education programmes run by the three departments.
  • Potential Research Excellence Framework Impact Case Study.
  • Informing curriculum development under the University’s Innovation for Healthcare programmes.
  • Ongoing strategic relationship with one of the UK’s largest primary care providers.
  • Foundation from which to develop a range of research projects that take our research ideas out into the real world.
  • KTP Associate became a visiting lecturer at the University of Surrey.

Benefits of Knowledge Transfer Partnerships

Knowledge Transfer Partnerships are designed to benefit all partners involved:

  • Company partner: acquire new knowledge and expertise; transform the business; create around two new jobs; increase annual profit; access University’s facilities
  • KTP Associate: leads a strategically important project; gains fast-track industry-based work experience; has opportunity for substantial personal and professional development
  • University academics: stimulation and enhanced business relevance of both research and teaching and impact case studies and publications.

About the sponsor  

Knowledge Transfer Partnerships is an Innovate UK programme, accelerating economic growth and fostering business innovation.