Each year, it provides millions of hours of care to people living with cancer, multiple sclerosis, Huntington's disease, Parkinson's disease, motor neurone disease, stroke and brain injury. As one of the largest providers of specialist palliative care in the UK, Sue Ryder offers individualised, compassionate care services to people with end of life and long-term needs in their own homes, in the community and at the charity’s many hospices and care centres.
With increasing numbers of staff and volunteers supporting patients and their families across thirteen different sites the charity recognised the need to introduce a consistent and effective way of monitoring, recording and dealing with incidents and complaints.
"Datix demonstrated maturity and a high degree of usability" John Knight, Head of Risk and Safety at Sue Ryder
John Knight, Head of Risk and Safety at Sue Ryder takes up the story, “We wanted a central co-ordination method of responding to incidents and analysing them effectively. The natural next step was to automate the whole process by introducing an electronic incident reporting system to replace the paper-based one. We took the decision to research the marketplace for an easy-to-use, centralised, web-based solution that could help us to achieve effective clinical governance and ultimately deliver the best quality care to our patients.”
After evaluating several technology solutions Datix was selected. Mr Knight continued, “Datix demonstrated maturity and a high degree of usability. What is more, the proven track record the software in the healthcare sector with its large and impressive user base gave us the confidence to proceed with Datix.”
Sue Ryder has now been using Datix for three years primarily for incident reporting and handling complaints. Fortunately, the charity receives very few complaints so Datix is used mainly for accurately capturing details of incidents and interactions with patients, their families and carers.
At the same time, John Knight, his team and Sue Ryder’s Clinical Quality team have put tremendous effort into training the clinical staff and working closely with Datix to adapt the charity’s incident management policies to better meet the needs of the organisation.
Since deploying Datix software, Sue Ryder has been able to record and deal with far more incidents than ever before. “Most importantly,” added Mr Knight, “Datix has made a significant difference in the area of clinical governance. It has helped us to identify training needs and re-allocate staff to areas where the most support is needed as well as provide the best treatment available to our patients.”
The next priority for John Knight’s team is to focus more heavily on data quality. By improving the quality of data put into the Datix system, John Knight expects to achieve even greater consistencies and efficiencies across all sites.
Datix has helped to give Sue Ryder clarity and focus, a major benefit for everyone within the organisation including management and operational staff. More accurate reporting held centrally and accessed with the simple click has reduced the amount of time taken to investigate and deal with specific incidents. By having an audit trail of each event, management can review various incidents over a period of time to identify patterns of activity and then act upon potential problem areas.
The Datix solution is an important point of communication particularly for the increasing number of health care officers who look after people in their own homes and who can still keep in touch with head office online, irrespective of where they might be at any one time.
Last but not least, Datix has enabled Sue Ryder to report accurately on its activities and therefore demonstrate the improvements made as part of the organisation’s commitment to comply with NHS and private healthcare quality care standards.
John Knight concluded, “With Datix, we can respond more quickly to adverse events and demonstrate with absolute clarity to our trustees that we are managing incidents and taking a proactive approach. The support from Datix is excellent. If we haven’t been in touch with Datix for a while, they will call or email just to let us know they are there if we need them. We have certainly found the system easy to use, flexible and it does the job.”
Next on the horizon is extending the use of Datix for enterprise risk management, for example, inputting potential risks surrounding new projects into the system to ascertain their viability before they get off the ground, thereby saving time and money for the charity.
Sue Ryder supports people with specialist palliative, end of life and long-term neurological care needs.
Each year we provide 4 million hours of care to people living with cancer, multiple sclerosis, Huntington's disease, Parkinson's disease, motor neurone disease, stroke and brain injury.