Nuffield Health

Reducing risk and improving patient safety with group-wide healthcare reporting

Nuffield Hospital Brighton
Nuffield Hospital Brighton

Nuffield is Britain’s longest standing not-for-profit group of independent hospitals.

The Nuffield Group is committed to providing accessible and affordable healthcare excellence to as many people as possible.

Patient safety has always been a high priority for Nuffield Hospitals and during 2007 a project was undertaken to integrate and improve governance and risk management processes across the whole Group.

Historically, a series of stand-alone databases made governance, risk management and incident reporting across the Nuffield Hospital Group a time-consuming and costly process. Attempts to analyse information in order to continuously improve the quality of care were impeded by the existence of separate systems with little or no integration.

This fragmentation was just one driver behind the Group’s decision to procure an integrated reporting solution capable of meeting the demands of the Group’s 30-plus hospitals, mobile diagnostics units, stand-alone decontamination centres and health and fitness centres, having just acquired Cannons Health & Fitness.

Speedy implementation

Nuffield underwent a thorough procurement process, reviewing six different solutions available in the marketplace. Su Barnett, General Manager Group Governance for Nuffield Group said, “Datix was chosen because the evaluation and a pilot in two of our hospitals demonstrated its best-in-class software performance and the ability to meet reporting and integration requirements across the full Group of Nuffield entities.”

"Datix was willing and able to help customise the software to meet our needs precisely." Su Barnett, General Manager Group Governance for Nuffield Group

The implementation of the project was handled quickly and efficiently. Following evaluation in March 2007, Nuffield piloted the software and fully rolled it out by October. The pilots took about six weeks and convinced the Group to go ahead with an organisation-wide implementation. Steve Penny the Nuffield IT Project Manager worked with the Training Manager at Datix to ensure everything ran smoothly.”

A tailored solution - provided with flexibility and “excellent service”

To improve reporting, Nuffield opted for a sophisticated solution utilising nearly all Datix modules across the whole Group, including:

  • Datix for Quality and Safety
  • Datix Common Classification System for Incidents in Healthcare
  • Incident Reporting
  • Risk Register
  • Complaints Handling
  • Safety Alerts

In addition to these modules Su Barnett explained, “Datix is helping us to develop a new module to replace a clinical indicator variance database. We hope to complete development of the new Clinical Outcomes module and implement it in late 2008."

“The Datix solution was also able to respond flexibly to a last minute requirement for a reporting system regarding quality control within the new instrument decontamination units. The Nuffield Group is opening eight decontamination centres nationwide.”

Why was Datix chosen?

So what led to the decision to choose Datix? “Apart from it being a proven and market-leading solution, we chose Datix because we needed to develop and support a system specifically for use in Nuffield Hospitals. Datix was willing and able to help customise the software to meet our needs precisely,” commented Su Barnett.

“As well as this, we had a requirement for training across the Group. Datix demonstrated that they could offer a very supportive training package during implementation,” she added.

“Datix fulfilled our expectations,” said Su Barnett. “Not only did the company display a flexible approach to putting the solution in place, but they also, throughout implementation, worked very closely with us on training our staff while providing consultancy to help us put our own in-house helpdesk in place. The service provided has been excellent.”

100% increase in reporting, with more safety and less risk

A major advantage to Nuffield staff was the implementation of Datix web-based incident reporting system. “We have seen a 100% increase in reporting because it is so much easier for people to use,” said Su Barnett. “Managers no longer need to rely on staff telephoning or emailing to report an incident. The system is simple to access via the web. It is all very transparent.”

The reports are being used for governance and risk management purposes as well as to report to the management boards. With Datix, it is now much easier to analyse trends, enabling Nuffield to learn lessons from incidents and complaints. This allows Nuffield to implement changes to reduce risk and improve safety for patients and staff alike. Reports from Datix are viewed at all levels, from hospital managers, through Group level, and up to the board of directors. Health and Safety Coordinators across the Group use the information to manage all aspects of health and safety.

Acceptance by staff: more time with patients and colleagues

Over 380 people have been trained on all Datix modules. In addition, Nuffield has provided training to all staff on how to report incidents, amounting to thousands of people across the Group.

“The system touches every member of staff from the incident and accident reporting aspect,” said Su Barnett. “It’s vital to our future success and it will affect everyone in every area of the business, particularly in the form of new reporting mechanism for incidents and accidents. It is very important for everyone to report incidents, accidents and untoward events – so that we can learn from them and prevent them happening again. That in turn, helps us improve our overall service to patients and clients.”

Another important development has been the linking of the Datix system to the staff intranet, through a clearly visible red triangle icon for report forms. This has encouraged staff to report incidents. In addition, they can view the collective outcomes and receive instant feedback that their incident has been reported.

“The staff have been very positive about the Datix system,” concluded Su Barnett. “While the positive feedback is Group-wide, it includes strong endorsements from the matrons at the hospitals. Previously they had to use a number of different database systems. Now all relevant information is integrated, this saves matron’s time which she can now spend with patients and colleagues thereby enhancing the service Nuffield Hospital Group provides.”

About Nuffield Hospitals

Established in 1957, Nuffield Hospitals is a registered charity and the largest not-for-profit independent healthcare provider in the UK. Nuffield currently operates 31 hospitals across England and Scotland. The group also comprises:

  • Nuffield Diagnostics: a nationwide service offering advanced imaging and pathology services.
  • Vanguard Healthcare: the world’s largest fleet of mobile operating theatres and hospitals, able to relocate virtually anywhere in the UK and Ireland within a day.
  • Nuffield Proactive Health: the leading expert in employee health, vitality and wellness.
  • Cannons Health & Fitness: a leading provider of commercial health and fitness clubs and local government management services, acquired by Nuffield in November 2007.
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