Avoidable Harm

Jeremy Hunt, the health secretary of the United Kingdom has aimed to reduce avoidable harm and, as a result, cut costs and save 6,000 lives. It is an ambitious plan on the back of a speech at Virginia Mason Hospital, in Seattle. The following is a brief summary of the plan: Care wards

– “Sign up to Safety”, all NHS organisation should outline their plans to reduce avoidable harm.

– “Duty of Candour”- NHS organisations must make the public aware off all incident involving significant harm and offer apology. The threshold of what is and not a duty of candour needs to be outlined.

– Recruitment of 5,000 safety champions who identify and fix unsafe care and environments.

–  SAFE (Safety Action for England) team, who are experts in tackling unsafe care, comprised of healthcare professionals.

– “How Safe is my Hospital” section on NHS Choices allowing people to compare hospitals on various parameters of safety.

Additionally, the plan emphasises to report clearly on incidents, duty of candour etc.; setting up a system where incidents are received, acted on, resolved, learnt from and then reported.

Managing Records

In order to collect all the necessary data that is eligible for the duty of candour and all minor incidents that do not fall into the parameters of the duty of candour, an effective system must be implemented that can collect, store, report on and manage all incidents.

Speaking on hypothetical terms, a typical incident form will contain the following: type of incident, people affected by the incident, specific details of the incident, treatment received, severity and details of patients/staff members involved.

DCC have had many years of expertise in managing healthcare data through the capabilities of automation, which eliminates manual entry and increases the accuracy of incident forms that are inputted in a system. Establishing business rules, validations and workflows that can directly route (using an incident severity scale on incident forms) incidents that need to go as part of the duty of candour. Moreover, representing all incidents on a dashboard that can organise the data graphically by whichever parameters desired e.g. an incident by type or severity, henceforth providing an understanding of which types of incidents is common, allowing organisations to take action. Such a dashboard is particularly beneficial to SAFE teams. In addition, as part of a hospitals to duty to express all incidents and apologise, the creation of a publication template designed with hospital logo and the common text that is required in all reports i.e. various incident fields can automatically receive all the duty of candour incidents, which will reduce the time it takes to create these reports. A mechanism, like this one, streamlines the incident report process, reduces the time it takes to manage, respond and report on incidents, reduces the chances of human error and enhances accuracy.

Our free educational knowledge share workshop serve the purpose of explaining and enlightening healthcare organisations and their staff on the effect of techniques such as these in increase the efficiency within their hospital. Aside from patient safety and incident reporting, we’ve been involved in patient experience, clinical trials, screening, performance measurements and many other projects.

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