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  • Run by Cardiff and Vale University Health Board, in partnership with the Division of Population Medicine, Cardiff University, and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.
  • Aimed to support child health directorate staff to identify and act on learning from patient safety data to inform quality improvement (QI) projects.
  • Established improved systems and processes to make data from patient safety incident reports more accessible and easier to analyse.
  • Delivered between September 2019 and November 2020.

Patient safety incident data can support the identification of weaknesses in health care systems that can be targeted for improvement. However, knowing how to access and use data to redesign care is a major challenge for managers and clinicians.

This project by Cardiff and Vale University Health Board aimed to address this by supporting clinical staff to use analysis of patient safety incident data, in conjunction with other data sources, to inform QI projects.

Following an initial workshop to explore the range of data available within the Health Board, two key themes from incident reporting within the child health directorate were identified for further analysis: medication errors and communication at handovers.

Clinical staff were supported by analysts to undertake data-driven analysis of these incident themes, including how to request data, how to know its strengths and limitations, and how to analyse it to assist in understanding the causes of reported patient safety incidents.

Building on the experience gained in this face-to-face setting, four e-learning modules were created to allow more staff to access information on incident data analysis, along with an electronic project proposal system to log ongoing QI work.

A key achievement was the development of a patient safety dashboard within the Health Board’s Business Intelligence System, which facilitates exploration of high-level incident report data from multiple sources in real time.

This project clearly demonstrated the benefits of making routine patient safety data accessible and easy to analyse in order to identify trends that drive further inquiry. A ‘how to’ guide summarising project concepts, challenges and resources has been developed to support further roll out of data-driven QI within the Health Board and other organisations.

Contact information

For more information about this project, please contact Andrew Carson-Stevens, Clinical Professor of Patient Safety and Quality Improvement, Division of Population Medicine, School of Medicine, Cardiff University. 

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