Circle Health

Europe's largest partnership of healthcare professionals improves patient safety using Datix software

Circle 002
Circle 002

Circle Health is Europe's largest partnership of healthcare professionals, committed to shaping the future of healthcare in the UK.

Circle has recently invested in Datix patient safety and risk management software to manage risk consistently across the organisation.

Innovative practice

Circle is co-formed, co-owned and co-run by clinicians (consultant partners and GP Partners). Its aim is to deliver high quality integrated care, developing the UK’s next generation of hospitals, clinics and community services.

Circle’s innovative approach includes the opening of new surgical centres where its surgeons can perform consultations and procedures that do not need to be carried out in a major hospital setting. These include areas such as dermatology, ophthalmology, ENT and plastic surgery. Circle has appointed internationally renowned architects to design a network of 30 compact hospitals, the first of which is in Bath, designed by Foster+Partners.

Patient safety a priority

Circle currently operates three NHS treatment centres under the Nations Healthcare brand and two private clinics. Patient care and safety are a top priority and Circle chose Datix patient safety and risk managementsoftware to manage risk and safety consistently across the organisation.

"Datix is an invaluable tool within our organisation to manage risk and governance." Pauline Frost Senior Governance and Risk Manager at Circle

The independent treatment centres are commissioned by the local Primary Care Trusts in their areas and must therefore adhere to Department of Health legislation. Datix was able to provide proven experience as the company’s solution has been adopted by the majority of NHS providers. The Incidents, Complaints, Claims and Risk Register modules of Datix have been implemented and are being deployed across key sites in the organisation. The incidents module is the most widely used, while the Claims Management module has also been adopted at three treatment centres in Bradford, Nottingham and Burton-on-Trent. Data from all of these modules feeds back centrally to head office.

According to Pauline Frost, Senior Governance and Risk Manager at Circle, “We selected Datix software as it is a proven solution in its field. It is well supported and comes with an excellent pedigree. Choosing Datix has enabled us to replicate the same tool on different sites, which in turn means that we can record and report on data in a consistent way across the organisation.”

Meeting performance criteria and legislation

The Staff at the treatment centres have implemented Datix effectively and efficiently. They are using web-based incident forms to capture data, with the forms being site specific and tailored to each member of staff’s own experience and level of seniority.

Staff at each site responsible for Governance and Risk particularly liked the built-in workflow that directs the forms to the appropriate manager for escalation.

This provides a clear electronic audit trail, helping the organisation to meet the strict legislation set out to manage and meet key government performance criteria. Storing data in a common way also enables data to be benchmarked across organisations in line with regulatory and NHS requirements.

Managing incidents effectively

Circle has found that being able to capture information accurately and in a timely manner has allowed the centres to monitor and investigate incidents which in turn improves patient safety.

“Datix plays an important part in incident/event management in the treatment centres,” said Pauline Frost. “The causes of incidents/events are recorded in Datix, which enables us to accurately measure and compare the number and type of events.This in particular has helped us to meet strict governance regulations and benchmark against other NHS sites.”

Overall response from staff has been very positive. Datix has been widely accepted as an effective tool that helps the organisation to manage the administration and recording of incidents, complaints and claims.

“Datix saves us a lot of time and enables us to be much more efficient. The staff using the risk register have been taught how to create their own reports, which now take seconds to run. Previously, this could take hours, as the information had to be collated manually,” said Pauline Frost.

Future plans

The use of Datix varies from site to site across the organisation, depending on the IT skills available. Those with more IT experience are sharing best practice and supporting other sites as the systems are implemented.

Pauline Frost herself is responsible for the rollout of the last three modules: Freedom of Information, Standards for Better Health and Safety Alerts Broadcast, which disseminates and tracks information about problems with medical devices and other safety issues.

Following training from Datix staff, Pauline Frost will roll out the modules to the centres’ ‘ICT champions’. Training will then be cascaded to staff within each site.

“Datix is an invaluable tool within our organisation to manage risk and governance. It provides us with a consistent, accurate and accessible way to record and report on risk. As a company, Datix has also been excellent to work with and we look forward to rolling out the software across all of our centres,” concluded Pauline Frost.

About Circle

Circle is Europe's largest partnership of healthcare professionals, committed to shaping the future of healthcare in the UK. Circle is co-formed, co-owned and co-run by clinicians. It has appointed internationally renowned architects to design a network of 30 hospitals that will revolutionise the delivery of healthcare. The first of its compact hospitals, designed by Foster+Partners, is nearing completion in Bath and due to open to patients in late 2009.

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