“Automating the data capture process and allowing DCC to handle the registration and characteristics data allowed us to ensure the data was delivered both on time and accurately.”
With the number of patients with both Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes steadily increasing, the annual National Diabetes Inpatient Audit has been of growing importance to monitor and improve the way in which the NHS can offer specialist diabetic care to its patients. Spearheaded by Dr Gerry Rayman, a consultant Physician and Head of Service at the Diabetes and Endocrine Centre, Ipswish Hospital NHS Trust, the study works with around 200 Trusts around the country to collect data and information from both Patient Experience Audits and Bedside Audits.
When the National Diabetes Inpatient Audit was first conducted in 2009, both the NHS Diabetes and the Diabetes UK Charity undertook the exercise in-house using a range of different suppliers and internal resources. Although the final aims were achieved, they were not without their difficulties, and served to highlight a number of areas and processes that could have been achieved. DCC first approached NHS Diabetes by chance and highlighted examples and experience of similar projects that they had previously worked on. Even though not originally designed to be automated, DCC proved that the process of automation improved the accuracy and ensured the timely delivery of results in time for the National Diabetes Conference.
For the 2010 study, DCC used their extensive experience and expertise with the National Diabetes Inpatient Audit to design and automate the entire data capture process, allowing a more rapid and cost-effective data capture solution. Each Trust was first invited to participate and uniquely registered online, after which physical and web-based forms were distributed around the partaking Trusts. Each of these forms was designed specifically to invite trust and ask questions in an approachable manner without compromising on the quality of data collected, as well as being structured in a highly user-friendly style. All completed audits and questionnaires were then returned via freepost, and responses were logged, scanned, verified and validated, as well as passing through Quality Control to ensure a high level of accuracy. Completion data from each Trust could then be exported alongside original PDF copies of each original form in TIF/PDF formats for reference.
Handling everything from the design of paper and web-based forms, printing, collation, registration, management, distribution, freepost collection and data collection automation, DCC used their extensive expertise to work with the NHS Diabetes and Diabetes UK to provide an on-budget, on-time solution. The automated process allowed a high level of accuracy in the data, even monitoring repeated responses and managing the automatic send-out of reminders to participating trusts. The process allowed faster processing at a lower cost, freeing up resources and removing the chance of human error.