31 October 2014

Measurement for improvement

Duncanby Duncan Gilbert, Healthcare Governance Manager 

Measurement is a vital part of improvement; it almost goes without saying that if we don’t measure we will not have a clear idea of what needs to improve, and neither will we know if changes or improvement work have had any effect.

Of course, there are almost as many potential measures as there are change ideas, and anyone testing out change ideas must think very carefully about how the plan to measure where they are at the start, and what impact, good or bad, the change has made.
In terms of measuring safety at the moment, probably the best, but by no means the only, measure we have is incident reporting.

measuring for improvement

Quality Dashboard data available from all Trust computer desktops

Given our reliance on incident reporting data to measure safety, and improvements in safety, it is vital that our incident reporting data is as full and as accurate as possible. Consequently a great deal of work has gone, and continues to go, into implementing changes in the Datix incident reporting system that:

  • Improve the user experience
  • Extract more value and learning
  • Encourage more reporting
  • Improve data quality

During the past 5 years incident reports have increased by over 40%, suggesting a considerable improvement in reporting practice. And we are now in a position where we can use incident data for improvement with a good degree of confidence.

Datix can provide a wealth of incident data, in a range of formats that can support your improvement work, and is easily accessible. It is a great way to start thinking about what you want to improve. If you want to find out more about how to get the most out of the system then please don’t hesitate to contact me by email.

If you want to find out more about measuring safety then Measuring and Monitoring Safety published by the Health Foundation is a great resource.

Of course safety is only one dimension of quality, and the Trust is already putting its safety data alongside effectiveness and patient, and staff, experience data to provide a more rounded view of quality in its Quality Dashboards available on your Trust computer desktop.

Looking ahead the quantity, quality, efficiency and accessibility of quality and improvement data will take a further leap forward with the use of newly acquired specialist software. Watch out for further details…

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