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Data linkage across ambulance services and acute trusts: assessing the potential for improving patient care Insight 2014

About 1 mins to read
  • Donna Buxton
  • Project led by the London Ambulance Service, supported by the Health Foundation’s Insight 2014 programme for research on informatics in health care improvement.
  • Based at the London Ambulance Service and six acute trusts in London.
  • Aims to link hospitals and ambulance service data to support improvements in patient care.
  • Will examine how routinely linking data from ambulance services and emergency departments can enable the tracking of diagnosis, health care interventions and mortality outcomes.

Ambulance service clinicians collect information on patients in their care and hand it over to emergency department clinicians on arrival at the hospital. In the majority of cases, the ambulance service receives no further information on patient outcomes.

The London Ambulance Service project aims to address this knowledge gap by anonymously linking data from ambulance services with data from hospital emergency departments, to enable the tracking of outcomes and quality. The linked data will focus on:

  • response times and patient outcomes
  • referrals to the ambulance service from health care professionals
  • mortality in emergency departments
  • hospital diagnoses given to patients conveyed by ambulance.

The project brings together experts in research and data analysis from Swansea University, Kingston University, the Nuffield Trust and St George’s, University of London. The team will explore ways of routinely linking data, including the technical feasibility of different approaches. They will also identify indicator sets that can support the improvement of healthcare delivery within the ambulance service and across the wider health care system, and consider how these indicator sets could inform commissioning.

Expected outcomes

Anticipated outcomes include quality improvement in existing health systems and the development of more effective care pathways and protocols for pre-hospital interventions. The project is due to be completed in early 2017.

Contact details

For more information, contact Donna Buxton, Research Manager at the Health Foundation, or email Sophie Clark, Research Paramedic at the London Ambulance Service, on sophie.clark@lond-amb.nhs.uk

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