• Project led by King’s College London, supported by the Health Foundation’s Insight 2014 programme for research on informatics in health care improvement.
  • Focusing on the emergency department and the older person’s unit at Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust.
  • Aims to improve the monitoring of quality and performance within hospital units.
  • Will develop and test a statistical model for organisational performance that takes into account relationships between demand, capacity and real-time adaptations to work procedures.

The King’s College London project aims to improve the monitoring of quality and performance within hospital units by creating a statistical model that reflects the day-to-day pressures and problems faced by hospital staff.

Using existing data on individual quality measures, the team will create an integrated database that captures information on:

  • demand, eg patient numbers, targets and standards
  • capacity, eg staffing levels, skill mix and equipment availability
  • real-time adaptations to work procedures in order to meet demand, such as reconfiguration of space and reassigning staff roles
  • outcomes.

The team will use the database to examine the relationships between these variables and understand their effect on overall unit performance. They will collect and analyse data over 18 months and hold quarterly workshops with clinicians and managers who will guide the project by helping to identify data sources and interpret results.

Expected outcomes

  • Greater understanding of the interactions between demand, capacity and adaptations within hospital units and how they affect quality.
  • An improved modelling system which will support more effective quality monitoring and better targeted interventions in areas such as demand and capacity management.
  • Recommendations on how the approach can be developed in the NHS to drive innovation and quality improvement.

The project is due to be completed in late 2017.

Contact details

For more information, contact Donna Buxton, Research Manager at the Health Foundation or Dr Janet Anderson, Senior Lecturer in the Florence Nightingale School of Nursing and Midwifery at King’s College London.