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NHS organisations today have to pay more than lip service to improving patient safety

NHS Grampian, one of the 10 principal Health Boards in Scotland, is using Datix patient safety software to manage incident reporting, complaints, claims, requests for information (ROI), safety alerts and risk. NHS Grampian provides services to more than half a million residents in the North-East of the country. Datix has helped NHS Grampian create a robust and flexible hospital patient safety and risk framework. In addition it is used to promote knowledge-sharing across the staff community, essential to improving patient services.

NHS Grampian first purchased Datix in April 2005, initially as an incident reporting system. Following a robust review of the marketplace, Datix was chosen as the most complete product that matched immediate requirements and in addition the system could be customised to meet the changing needs of a large and complex organisation.

In fact, an innovative new method of reporting severe incidents has recently been introduced to NHS Grampian. The new system automatically emails severe incidents to a group of senior managers including the Chief Operating Officer (COO), Director of Nursing and Quality (DNQ) and the Head of Clinical Governance and Risk Management Unit. In total 30 senior managers including General Managers for the six sectors and members of their senior team for example, lead nurse and lead clinician are 'signed up' to receive email notifications for severe incidents that are reported in their area.

Janet Seaton, Quality Informatics Manager at NHS Grampian commented, “Immediately sending emails to the senior managers in the case of severe incidents has increased awareness of significant incidents by these staff. The information now goes immediately to those who have the authority to provide support to the incident managers and allocate resources to time-critical situations.”

NHS Grampian has also introduced DatixWeb Risks in the last year to encourage greater reporting of risks across the organisation’s six main sectors: Acute, Aberdeenshire, Moray, Aberdeen City, Mental Health and Facilities. The new module enables managers to have a single view of risks across all six sectors and link them to the Board’s strategic risk register. More significantly, by identifying trends and spotting where similar risks occur in different sectors, managers can save money when it comes to contingency planning and mitigation costs.

The Health Board has taken an innovative approach to using Datix that highlights the flexibility of the solution. Originally designed to help healthcare organisations comply with the stringent requirements of bodies such as the Care Quality Commission (CQC) and NHSLA, Datix includes a Safety Alerts module which was initially introduced into NHS Grampian as a means to replace the manual process of issuing risk control notices to 1,500 staff.

Datix Safety Alerts is now also used to share learning. Janet Seaton explained, “We are deploying a totally new 'sharing learning' programme that would not have been possible without Datix. Better reporting has created a library of valuable information that can be consolidated into knowledge reports and pushed out to the entire organisation. We have the perfect opportunity to save time and resource by sharing our experiences and building on knowledge that ultimately improves standards, supports the overall health plan and delivers excellent patient care.”

Jonathan Hazan, CEO of Datix, concluded, “NHS organisations today have to pay more than lip service to improving patient safety. They need to justify their original investment in technology. Over the years, we have worked closely with NHS Grampian to expand their original system in line with business requirements and demonstrate its true value to both internal and external stakeholders.”

NHS Grampian operates 84 GP practices, 18 community hospitals and a further 6 hospitals offering highly specialised care. In 2009/2010, the organisation’s 17,000 staff treated 23,230 inpatients, 68,990 emergencies, 31,420 day cases and 459,039 outpatients.

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About NHS Grampian
NHS Grampian, which is one of the 10 principal Health Boards in Scotland, provides healthcare services to the North-East of the country, covering the local government areas administered by Aberdeen, Aberdeenshire and Morayshire Councils.

The organisation employs around 17,000 staff who deliver a wide range of healthcare services to half a million people spread across 3,000 square miles of city, town, village and rural communities. Aberdeen, as a major Scottish city, is where most of the hospitals are located. Elgin in Moray, is the site of Dr Gray’s and the principal general hospital is in the west of Grampian. In addition, there are a further 14 community hospitals, situated in each of the main towns.

NHS Grampian has close links to the University of Aberdeen (with its internationally renowned Medical School and new Dental School) and Robert Gordon University. These close links have made the Health Board a centre of pioneering medical research in a number of fields.

For more information, please visit: www.nhsgrampian.org

About Datix
Datix has been a pioneer in the field of patient safety since 1986 and is today the leading supplier of software for patient safety, risk management, incident and adverse event reporting. Datix aims to help healthcare organisations build a culture and practice that drives excellence in patient safety. It recruits and retains people committed to the healthcare sector and continually invests in its software and services to ensure that it integrates best practice and learning.

Datix is focused on the health and social care sector. Its customers include public and private hospitals, primary care providers, GP surgeries, mental health and ambulance service providers. Its clients also include organisations delivering care home and domiciliary care services. Within the UK this includes more than 70% of the National Health Service. Internationally the Datix client base is growing rapidly and includes large scale deployments in Canada and the USA as well as clients in Europe and Australia.

Datix is headquartered in London, United Kingdom. To learn more, visit www.datix.co.uk or call +44 (0)20 8971 1971

For further information please contact:
Mary Phillips/Andreina West
PR Artistry Limited
Tel: +44 (0)1491 639500
Email: mary@pra-ltd.co.uk

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