• Explored the extent to which the SCS approach helped eight sites to make their clinical systems safer and to explicate the mechanisms of change and contextual influences on their success.
  • Carried out by the SAPPHIRE group at the University of Leicester, led by Prof. Mary Dixon-Woods.
  • Evaluation report was published in December 2014.

Phase two of Safer Clinical Systems commenced in October 2011. Eight healthcare organisations implemented and tested the Safer Clinical Systems approach developed in the first phase. The approach involved mapping the clinical pathway, understanding how it was influenced by the wider system, assessing the potential risks within that system and finally implementing and testing the chosen solutions.

The work focused on improving systems in two key areas: safe and reliable handover of clinical information, and safe and reliable prescribing.

The aim of the evaluation of phase two of the Safer Clinical Systems programme was to determine the extent to which the SCS approach helped the chosen sites to make their clinical systems safer; to explicate the mechanisms of change and contextual influences on their success and to understand any barriers to success.

The study used a longitudinal study design combining ethnography, quantitative measures and ongoing feedback to and from the teams. The approach comprised three sub-studies:

  • surfacing the programme theory
  • ethnographic case studies
  • quantitative estimates of change over time.

A full evaluation report which includes detailed description of the methodology, process and findings of the evaluation is available on request. A summary of the learning from the evaluation with some illustrative case studies was published in December 2014.

Further reading

Research report

Safer Clinical Systems: Evaluation findings

Lessons from the second phase of the Safer Clinical Systems programme.

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