Yes, we need more data on avoidable harm, but every piece of data needs expert analysis

Former health secretary Jeremy Hunt is behind a new charity called Patient Safety Watch, which is a welcome initiative in patient safety improvement and is encouraging news for us at Dr Foster. Using a combination of quality data that highlights avoidable harm and data on mortality is the best way to continue with the efforts that are already underway to bring about improvements in patient safety.

Patient Safety Watch is intent on filling in the gaps in hard data that is available on patient safety issues to help reduce avoidable harm to patients in the NHS. Speaking to the HSJ Mr Hunt said he was passionate about patient safety during his time as Secretary of State and that the charity will be a vehicle to pursue the subject in the House of Commons, holding the government to account for improvements.

While good quality data is essential, expert analysis is key to being able to explain variation, highlighting areas we need to focus on. There is a deep pool of quality data available, but without proper analysis, it can be redundant. Bringing data together from a number of different sources is vital to understanding the big picture.

In line with this ambition, our new Mortality Service tracks and interprets mortality metrics, saving NHS trusts valuable time. This bespoke service ensures trusts can easily track their performance through quality data, interpreted with the help and support of our experts who can transform key metrics into actionable insights. We also provide support to NHS Trusts to help them learn from deaths and share best practice through workshops.

The Mortality Service enables trusts to benchmark themselves against other organisations across the NHS, pinpointing areas of variation and encouraging the use of best practice. Having a comprehensive picture of mortality and a holistic view of care pathways helps to identify outliers and potential areas for further investigation. It means trusts are always aware of potential patient safety problems.

Access to quality data and expert analytics in the right areas gives trusts the confidence to make evidence-based decisions, kickstarting transformation and driving up standards of patient care and safety. For more information about Dr Foster’s mortality consultancy service, get in touch here