Aspen Healthcare deploys Datix to support new quality governance framework


Continued investment in Datix improves incident reporting and dramatically reduces the number of serious incidents at nine independent healthcare facilities

Aspen Healthcare, operator of four private acute hospitals, two cancer centres and three ambulatory day surgery centres, has extended its investment in Datix software to support the organisation’s updated Quality Governance Framework.

The framework is designed to promote best practice processes and drive continual improvements in patient safety and care, which is underpinned by data and information from Datix. Improved incident reporting has had a direct and positive impact and, while Aspen Healthcare increased patient contacts by 14%, the number of serious incidents were reduced by 65% year-on-year for the period 2013-2014.

Aspen Healthcare has expanded its original Datix implementation to cover incident, safety alerts, risk management and complaints. It also uses the Datix Dashboard module.

Judi Ingram, group clinical sirector at Aspen Healthcare, said: “Excellence is at the heart of everything we do and we aim for quality to be incorporated into every level of our business. From the outset, it was clear that maximising the full potential of the Datix system was a key priority. Improving staff awareness, with a greater understanding of the value and importance of incident reporting was essential. Plus, ensuring staff received something back from the Datix ‘box’ in terms of shared learning and improvements to patient care and safety, was critical to supporting our new Quality Governance Framework effectively. This would enable us to innovate readily and respond to new initiatives to benefit our patients and ensure the quality and safety of the care they receive.”

Aspen Healthcare relies on information from Datix because it provides a reliable insight into patient safety across the organisation. Consistent processes, combined with measurable KPIs on Quality Governance dashboards, encourage staff to record patient safety and near-miss incidents including such things as pressure ulcers, returns to theatre, and cancelled operations, in addition to reporting anything that is a concern to staff which they think needs investigating.

Ingram said: “Patient safety is often seen by staff as ‘a given’ but can also be hard to articulate effectively, but using Datix helps with this. It is much easier than relying on multiple spreadsheets that are time consuming, often prone to error and are so quickly out of date. With Datix, the information is 100% accessible by everyone and the sheer granularity of the detail provided gives clinicians and managers alike the evidence they need to highlight problem areas quickly and then take swift, corrective action. This boosts staff morale, minimises the risk of recurring issues, and improves patient safety.”

With a focus on continual improvement, Aspen Healthcare is always looking for new ways to extend the Datix solution. It is currently implementing the Datix Risk Register module to drive the pro-active management of risk and is aiming to further embed the Complaints Management module. The Datix Safety Alerts module is increasingly providing the robust oversight required of where they are at any point of time in ensuring alerts are actioned.

Jonathan Hazan, director of Datix, said: “Effecting culture change is often the biggest hurdle in any organisation, but the graphical displays afforded by Datix keep tabs on progress made against KPIs and keep patient safety front of mind at all times. The visual nature of Datix Dashboards makes it popular and easy to use.

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“At Aspen Healthcare, Datix is helping staff to understand the true meaning of data that has the power to drive change, and change for the better, because it ultimately facilitates the delivery of excellent patient care.”