Three partner organisations – Channel 3 Consulting, Grant Thornton UK LLP and Me Learning – joined forces to deliver a programme of work aiming to improve the way activity data is captured and used at the four main NHS providers of community services in North West London.
This has improved the accuracy and consistency of activity data available to inform key decisions affecting patients. Staff have greater understanding on why and how information is recorded and used and are spending less time on data input.
Issues with access to reliable, timely, consistent and accurate data were impacting on the community trusts ability to demonstrate the value of community services, manage the day-to-day delivery of services in a consistent manner, and identify potential improvement opportunities. In a survey of staff, 44% felt that the data captured and reported was not an accurate reflection of their services and the care delivered.
The programme, which commenced in 2022, has improved the way data is captured and used by the four trusts. Data is now recorded, reported and used consistently across all four organisations and in line with national standards. The programme, made possible through investment by the Integrated Care System (ICS) following an initial scoping exercise by Grant Thornton, involved reconfiguring processes and technology, improving staff understanding of the importance of data and how it’s used and changing ways of working to support the required outcomes.
This was achieved through:
- Implementation of a standard approach to capture and use data across all four NHS trusts, in line with national standards.
- Technical configurations and data flows applied to technology systems so the same level of data consistency is achieved across all organisations.
- Targeted projects with individual services, such as district nursing, specialist community nursing and rapid response services to improve the way data is captured and ensure transparency and improved understanding to enhance clinical relevance of data entry.
- Training videos, created by Me Learning to support frontline staff to encourage a change in attitudes and approach to data.
- All organisations working together in a collaborative way, including oversight of delivery, holding organisations and teams to account and staff working together to ensure consistency across the ICS.
The overall Community Data Improvement Programme was designed, set up and managed by Grant Thornton, in partnership with the Community Collaborative and ICS. They have provided central programme management and governance as well as specialist expertise around NHS data quality having worked in this area over the last 15 years. Channel 3, who are market leaders in the digital and technology health and care sector, provided technical team capacity and capability to support system configuration and optimisation at a local level.
Me Learning worked with all stakeholder organisations to understand the drivers for change, the aspirations of the programme and required outcomes, and the role each person played in ensuring data accuracy and consistency. We used this information to design, develop and deliver a series of short animated videos to help people understand changes they needed to make in their own work, to achieve those outcomes.
The main benefits
Improved collaboration – greater coordination between people and technology systems across the trusts and within trusts, particularly between technical data teams and clinical and operations teams
More sustainable – well-structured governance which ensures programme outcomes continue to be delivered creating a strong foundation for the Community Provider Collaborative’s future work programme.
Increased service engagement –all district nursing and rapid response services have a shared understanding of how and why information is produced, recorded and why.
Reduced administration – operational and clinical teams are spending less time on data entry, validation of data and reports, which in turn improves morale and wellbeing.
Reliable comparable data – consistency of data across all organisations aligned to national standards enabling comparison and a better understanding of the care delivered.
Improved central reporting – a single version of the truth reporting across all organisations facilitating a shared understanding between the Community Provider Collaborative and the ICB.
Me Learning – targeted training videos
A suite of six bite-sized training videos were created for frontline staff at the trusts –West London NHS Trust, Central London Community Healthcare NHS Trust, Central and North West London NHS Foundation Trust and Hounslow and Richmond Community Healthcare NHS Trust – to raise awareness of the importance of capturing accurate clinical data and providing instruction on what to do and what not to do. These addressed some of the most common errors. Video was chosen because it was the most effective way to communicate quickly with a time-poor workforce.
The videos addressed the following topics:
- The importance of ensuring clinical data is accurate.
- Why every appointment needs an outcome.
- How to link appointments to referrals.
- The difference between clinical and admin activities (per national data definitions).
- How to assign a referral to a caseload.
- Why we need to record protected characteristics.
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