Securing patient safety with connected information

In a world of ever-increasing complexity, too often the tools we use only further complicate our working lives.

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In a world of ever-increasing complexity, too often the tools we use only further complicate our working lives. For professionals whose day-to-day jobs involve repeated engagement with multiple pieces of software, keeping track can be a daunting and frustrating task and often feels like a job in itself.

Across countless industries, healthcare included, software vendors look to mitigate this problem, with varying degrees of success – cue buzzwords such as “end-to-end” and “software suite”.

Many pieces of software now include modules for multiple and varied organisational processes – payroll and HR, procurement and finance. Whilst related, the actual flow of information between different components of broad, all-encompassing systems can sometimes be fairly limited and breaking the connections can be of little consequence.

For some processes however, closely-connecting information can have huge benefits. This is the case for those involved with securing the safety of patients across the healthcare economy, where there are various processes and job roles involved, often in different corners of the same organisation.

The day-to-day tasks of all of these functions are so varied, but having a link between them can be key. In so many cases, there is minimal or no flow of understanding between risks identified through to understanding of something that has eventually gone wrong and the numerous processes that follow.

That is why Datix have designed software tools to bridge the gap. Systems provided by Datix allow organisations to create a comprehensive and detailed understanding of everything surrounding patient safety incidents.

At the core of Datix’s systems, incidents are reported from anywhere across a healthcare organisation. Rather than operating in isolation, the reporting of an incident can begin a flow of information through the entire learning cycle, or further enhance an existing process flow.

Connecting incidents with risks allows an organisation to see the ways in which a risk has actually manifested itself within the real-life delivery of care. Once an incident has occurred, responses to any complaints that stem from it can be managed to ensure the response is a productive as it can be, whilst claims and their associated financial implications levied against the organisation can be managed through to closure. 

These connections are not limited to incidents that have already occurred. Capturing information on mock CQC inspections can identify areas where the organisation is underperforming; linking risks to underperforming areas provides a real opportunity to mitigate the risks that arise from underperformance, fundamentally improving standards of care.

Pulling all of this together and joining the dots, organisations can attain a collated overview of all information through graphical dashboards, showing staff at any level the key information that is relevant to their role, whilst contrasting interpretations and analysis of trends is reduced by presenting one version of the truth to all staff.

Beyond learning from adverse events, there is a plethora of organisational benefits to using multiple modules in the Datix’s system. When several different tools are used for interrelated processes, the consequences are staff needlessly logging in and out of disjointed systems, replicating data entry and understanding the various formats and conceptions of related or identical information. This is a drag on the already stretched workloads of clinicians and healthcare administrators and exposes the organisation to risk of errors, with data captured and classified differently in different systems.

Even worse, conducting these processes offline loses even more time that would be better spent protecting healthcare organisations and patients. Furthermore, a paper or email-based process almost guarantees that information will be difficult or burdensome to locate in future, whilst effectively and efficiently reporting on it will be close to impossible. 

For many years, the creation of an organisation with a memory has been seen as the holy grail of patient safety. Software provided by Datix certainly provides organisations with the tools to move one step closer to this ideal of learning from adverse events and improving outcomes in the quality of healthcare provision, all whilst saving time, reducing error and harmonising processes… not to mention reducing the number of passwords.

Find out more about the Datix Toolkits here.