NHS Confederation: Data collection “useful” but “difficult”

NHS Confederation: Data collection “useful” but “difficult”

A report by the NHS Confederation has indicated that whilst clinicians think that data collection is “useful” in the NHS, the practicalities mean that it is very difficult to collect.

 

The Challenging Bureaucracy report, which was commissioned by health secretary Jeremy Hunt earlier this year, found that clinicians spend between 2-10 hours per week collecting data. This figure is thought to stand at around 20 for administrative staff, using that time finding data for nationally-mandated returns and reports to regulatory bodies.

 

“The clinical staff we interviewed reported, on average, that 65% of the data they collect is useful and relevant to patient care; this breaks down to 69% for acute providers and 59% for mental health providers” the report said.

 

It was also found that data collection costs each NHS Trust an average of £1.4 million a year, bringing the total yearly cost for the NHS to £300-500 million.

 

With this in mind, the review now calls for data collections to be reviewed on a regular basis to judge their relevance, and asks for a core dataset to be developed, which can be used across the health service. Instead of different reporting requirements, there will be a push towards a core dataset agreed by all national bodies in an attempt to provide clarity on what needs to be collected to deliver and improve patient care.

 

The report also calls for the NHS to move towards greater automation of data collections. It argues that trusts with electronic patient record systems spend less time collecting the data, as it can be made part of the process of recording patient information electronically on the system.

The report sets out a total of 30 recommendations for the NHS, the Department of Health and the HSCIC, and concludes that reducing bureaucracy is a “three-part task”.

 

“We found that reducing unnecessary bureaucracy will require a three-part task to tackle the volume of requests, reduce the effort involved in responding and maximise the value of collected information,” it says.

“This sets a challenge not only to national bodies, but NHS providers themselves to take the lead, where they can, to make sure that information works harder for patients.”

 

Original Source EHI

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