Serco Health

Serco Health steps up clinical governance using Datix

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I Stock 000020198606 Large

Serco Health is part of Serco Group Plc, the international service and outsourcing company that has delivered essential public services for more than 40 years.

The organisation supports the National Health Service by working in long-term partnerships to deliver and support primary, secondary and community care services.

Through its occupational health services, Serco Health supports the well-being of over 450,000 employees nationwide in the public, private and voluntary sectors. The company has also become a leading independent provider of custodial health services, providing for thousands of offenders in prisons across the UK.

Serco Health's commitment to excellence and innovation is reflected by its innovative adoption of the latest technology to deliver the best health services in a safe environment.

Traditionally, Serco Health used Assure, a purpose-built civil government tool, originally designed to manage major events such as nuclear attacks or major rail accidents, to monitor incidents across its diverse client base. The company then set about creating its own internal system that adequately collected numbers and trends but lacked the detail of a tailored incident and risk management solution.

Acquisition drives need for clinical excellence

After Serco Health took over the management of Braintree Community Hospital in 2011, Lead Nurse and Head of Clinical Governance Pauline Cichy decided the time had come to take a more robust, clinical approach to incident management. Pauline explained, "With a hospital as part of our portfolio, we wanted to further our clinical governance procedures and invest in new technology not just for Braintree Community Hospital but in all areas where accurate information was critical. I knew about Datix and its capabilities as I had used the system in the past and had a very positive experience."

"Datix provides total transparency and clarity. All data relating to our wide-ranging client contracts is stored centrally in one place." Pauline Cichy

The new web-based Datix system first went live at Braintree Community Hospital in October 2011 followed just three months later at Serco's remaining business contracts spanning a community hospital, two forensic medical contracts, a GP out-of-hours service, two immigration centres, a secure training centre and four prisons.

Information from everywhere in one place, at once

Serco Health is already seeing the benefits of the Datix system. Designed by clinicians for clinicians, Datix has been readily accepted by users, a sentiment backed up by solid statistics. For example, the number of incidents reported during the first two months of the year was almost the average annual reported during previous years simply because it is now far easier to report incidents through a single system using Datix.

This is particularly important for areas of healthcare that are unique to some of contracts Serco Health delivers. An example is the early identification of individuals who self-harm in prisons.

Serco Health can use Datix to obtain hard evidence and establish areas where extra vigilance from staff or further training is required. This improves employee morale and guarantees greater safety for the offenders they are tasked to protect.

According to Pauline Cichy, "Datix provides total transparency and clarity. All data relating to our wide-ranging client contracts is stored centrally in one place. At a glance, I have a unified view of what is happening, a much better understanding of our business and the confidence to report back to the senior management and CEO with accurate information that supports decision-making."

Integration key to competitive advantage

Many of Serco Health's customer contracts are within NHS Primary Care Trusts (PCTs) who often use Datix and trust its proven track record in healthcare and its support for reporting to the National Patient Safety Agency (NPSA) now know as the National Reporting and Learning System (NRLS). This was one of the main reasons for Serco Health to adopt the same platform. In the future, Pauline believes the strong integration capabilities of Datix with client systems will play an important role in promoting industry best practice and creating common benchmarking parameters.

"By demonstrating leadership and influence in comparatively new markets like the prison service, we hope to demonstrate we deliver a high quality, evidence based and safe service which will give us an advantage against other independent health sector providers in the current economic climate" Pauline added.

Sophisticated risk register aids compliance

Serco Health managers and staff cite the simplicity of the Datix Risk Register as a major advantage even going so far as to compare it with an "online shopping list". Using this module, they can quickly populate the system with different risk areas and assign colour codes to each stage such as risk type, where it was, where it is now and what is being done to address it. Users appreciate the transparency of the system where their input receives instant feedback, a huge improvement over the days before Datix when people had to get a verbal response from Healthcare Managers on an incident they may have reported earlier.

Datix Risk Register has proven to be especially helpful for managers wishing to identify areas where more resources are required and then providing the evidence for the need and improvement those resources will bring. Furthermore, it provides an accurate audit trail, essential when presenting trend and performance reports to regulatory bodies such as the Care Quality Commission (CQC).

A healthy outlook for the future

Serco Health has been particularly impressed by the excellent training and technical support provided by Datix, a sentiment put forward by Pauline Cichy, "The Datix helpdesk is second to none with staff who go the extra mile. They don't just answer questions, they live and breathe the system with you, recommending hints and tips that make a real difference and tangibly maximise return on investment."

Next on the horizon is expanding Serco Health's trend analysis activities and working closely with the industry to share National data for benchmarking projects. Serco Health looks forward to using the Datix CQC Standards module. This sophisticated development from Datix is an on-line application pre-loaded with CQC's 28 essential standards that will provide real-time monitoring and management of Serco Health's CQC standards across multiple client contracts.

About Serco Health

Serco Health is part of Serco Group Plc, the international service and outsourcing company that has delivered essential public services for more than 40 years.

Serco Health supports the National Health Service by working in long-term partnerships to deliver and support primary and acute care services. It uses its capabilities in transformation, service integration and redesign to help the NHS meet the financial and organisational challenges facing it today whilst maintaining the quality and availability of services.

One of the leading providers of occupational health services, Serco Health supports the wellbeing of over 450,000 employees nationwide in the public, private and voluntary sectors. The organisation has also become the leading independent provider of custodial health services, providing for thousands of offenders in prisons across the UK. For more information, please visit www.serco.com

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