Medway Community Healthcare

Medway Community Healthcare drives continual service improvements using Datix patient safety software

Mch Building
Mch Building

Medway Community Healthcare is a social enterprise Community Interest Company, providing community NHS services to the people of Medway and beyond.

Medway Community Healthcare (MCH) is formed from the services directly provided by NHS Medway and has a strong history of partnership working with local GPs, Medway NHS Foundation Trust, Medway Council and other local stakeholders.

MCH is a £57 million business with over 1,300 staff providing a wide range of both planned and unscheduled care in local settings such as healthy living centres, inpatient units and people’s homes.

Additionally, 237 MCH volunteers work alongside teams in the community and at the Wisdom Hospice giving 2,000 hours of their time each month to help MCH deliver care and make a positive impact on the health and wellbeing of patients.

As an organisation that provides a range of high quality clinical services across Medway, MCH competes for services with other providers from the NHS, independent and voluntary sectors. They use their knowledge and expertise to stay up to date on local new business opportunities.

MCH’s commitment is to ‘lead the way in excellent healthcare’ and their employees, who have the opportunity to become shareholders and influence business decisions, all have a significant role to play in delivering this commitment to the communities they serve.

Customer Experience Programme drives continual improvements in patient care

MCH is proud of the high quality care its teams provide to local people. The ‘Friends and Family’ test is a critical component of the organisation’s Customer Experience Programme. Through a combination of patient surveys, focus groups and workshops, MCH ensures it has a measure of the views and experience of patients and visitors then uses the results to make meaningful changes or improvements to services.

Between April 2014 and March 2015, compliments outnumbered complaints by 13:1 and, of the 4,686 respondents to the annual customer feedback survey, 95% said they would recommend using the services of MCH to others.

"In short, the system gives us a perfect line of sight between service and organisational performance, putting us in complete control of our patient safety environment." Lesley Graham, Information Governance Facilitator at MCH

Pivotal to creating a measurable care infrastructure is Datix patient safety software, first purchased in 2009 to replace the legacy paper-based system, used before MCH’s creation as a Community Interest Company.

According to Lesley Graham, Information Governance Facilitator at MCH, “Prior to using the Datix system, we relied on a paper-based trail and a series of spreadsheets to manage everything from incidents, claims, complaints and risks, to keeping a close eye on patient feedback. Vital pieces of paper would often go missing so it was impossible to have a clear picture of what was going on. At the same time, staff never saw the outcomes of investigations making them less willing to report every incident. With the transformation of the organisation to a social enterprise, the time had come to find a fully automated solution to link everything together and create a joined up approach to patient safety in an increasingly complex NHS landscape.”

Since that time, MCH has deployed the Datix Incident, Claims, Complaints, Customer Experience, Dashboards and Risk Register modules. All staff have immediate access to incidents across the organisation and the Datix technology brings together incidents, risks and claims in one place to provide a completely integrated patient safety framework.

Automatic feedback makes a real difference to staff morale and incident reporting

When MCH first used the Datix solution, it was a shared service used by other healthcare commissioners. Although the PCT and commissioners could access the same system, they could not see each other’s records. Nowadays, MCH has total control of the one system, empowering them to make changes themselves.

Karen Hoskins, Governance manager at MCH added, “Today, we have a totally paperless patient safety solution that cleverly links records, runs meaningful reports and immediately notifies staff of priority actions from a single integrated platform. This guarantees we follow consistent processes using a common language, allows us to customise the sharing of selected information and keeps data secure at all times. What is more, the automatic feedback facility provided by the Datix system means staff can elect to see exactly what happens to the incidents they record. This gives them a far greater sense of involvement and empowerment because they know their efforts are making a real difference to patient safety. In turn, this has had a very positive impact on incident reporting.”

Dashboards put leaders in control of their patient safety environment

One of the biggest benefits of using Datix is that leaders have instant access to accurate, pertinent information and are immediately notified of serious incidents using the Dashboards facility. Dashboards provide easy to use charts that can be tailored to specific areas, services or interests simply by dragging and dropping graphs around the page. This gives directors a real-time snapshot of staff activity at any one time and, where necessary, enables them to measure performance against targets for quality priorities at MCH such as the need to reduce infection rates and incidences of avoidable pressure ulcers. With an easily accessible ‘To Do List’, staff know at a glance what they have to do and can go about their tasks quickly and efficiently.

Lesley Graham continued, “The transparency of data projected from the Dashboards module removes ambiguity, helps leaders make better decisions and drive activity. In short, the system gives us a perfect line of sight between service and organisational performance, putting us in complete control of our patient safety environment.”

Big benefits, even greater service improvements

Immediate access to accurate information held in the Datix system has realised a series of clinical benefits. In addition to better documentation, information security and the ability to pinpoint training requirements at certain care home providers, community nurses have made significant improvements in processes relating to the assessment of pressure ulcer results, fall risks and have reduced the number of transfer of care incidents.

Introducing a dedicated Datix Helpline

The Datix system has been readily adopted by the majority of users with some directors accessing it on a daily basis. To further encourage its use, MCH has set up a dedicated helpline to talk users through how to complete certain forms, understand important healthcare guidelines such as the new Duty of Candour and gain better insight into future training needs. Lesley Graham and Karen Hoskins who answer calls have both undergone the Datix Certified Professional (DCP) Course which realises the full potential of the Datix system. Having undertaken the training Lesley and Karen were able to effectively design, implement and manage the technology to support the specific requirements of MCH.

Looking to the future

MCH looks forward to building on the success of the Datix implementation by further enhancing the use and quality of data held in the system and rolling out new Datix Safety Alerts and Risk Register modules.

Karen Hoskins concluded, “We have nothing but praise for the Datix team. They always respond very quickly, are helpful and supportive. They are also excellent networking facilitators. We particularly enjoy participating in their User Groups where we exchange top tips and best-practice with other users and, as a reference customer ourselves, we get to expand our network even further by helping prospects to understand the benefits of the Datix system and sharing our own experiences with them.”

About Medway Community Healthcare

Medway Community Healthcare (MCH) is a social enterprise Community Interest Company (CIC), providing community NHS services to the people of Medway and beyond. MCH is formed from the services directly provided by NHS Medway and has a strong history of partnership working with local GPs, Medway NHS Foundation Trust, Medway Council and other local stakeholders.

MCH is a £57 million business with over 1,300 staff providing a wide range of both planned and unscheduled care in local settings such as healthy living centres, inpatient units and people’s homes.

Additionally, 237 MCH volunteers work alongside teams in the community and at the Wisdom Hospice giving 2,000 hours of their time each month to help MCH deliver care and make a positive impact on the health and wellbeing of patients.

As an organisation that provides a range of high quality clinical services across Medway, MCH competes for services with other providers from the NHS, independent and voluntary sectors. They use their knowledge and expertise to stay up to date on local new business opportunities.

MCH’s commitment is to ‘lead the way in excellent healthcare’ and their employees, who have the opportunity to become shareholders and influence business decisions, all have a significant role to play in delivering this commitment to the communities they serve.

For more information, please visit www.medwaycommunityhealthcare.nhs.uk

Dtx Mch Logo 400X200

Fast facts