The Quality of Nationally Submitted Health and Social Care Data, England - 2013, Second annual report, Experimental statistics
This experimental statistical publication relates to the assessment and reporting of the quality of data received by the HSCIC from health and social care organisations.
This is the second annual report on the quality of nationally submitted health and social care data in England. The first annual report was published on 19th July 2012.
- The report re-emphasises the importance of good quality data to the health and social care sectors, especially in light of the findings and recommendations in the recent report by Mr Robert Francis QC on the Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust Public Inquiry and Dame Fiona Caldicott’s review of information governance
- The HSCIC’s statutory data quality role is only one element of several required to fully support the continuous improvement of data quality across the health and social care sectors
- For the majority of programme areas included in the report, the overall quality of data received by the HSCIC appears to be improving. Most exceptions tend to result from issues caused by the recent changes to the NHS structure. These issues are expected to be resolved over the coming year as processes are revised to fully reflect the new structure
- There is an issue with regard to the validity of data as opposed to the accuracy of data. Valid data meet published standards and are then used confidently for 'secondary uses', i.e. purposes other than direct clinical care. However, valid data are not necessarily accurate, and the use of inaccurate data in direct clinical care can compromise patient safety. The HSCIC needs to work with its partners to understand the extent and impact of this issue and agree how to resolve it, e.g. by:
• Understanding the breadth and depth of data recorded for direct clinical care more fully and making better use of them for secondary purposes
• Understanding that data quality requirements are driven by the intended use of data and that the methods used to assess, report and manage data quality will necessarily vary by use and, consequently, by user group
• Extending the auditing of data quality beyond Payment by Results to other areas where poor data quality could impact most on direct clinical care
- The HSCIC undertakes a range of data quality activities but needs to continue to work on improving the consistency of these activities and the level of capability across programme areas supported by clear data management processes and policies
- The HSCIC gives data quality advice and guidance to organisations and will continue to do so. However, organisations who submit data to the HSCIC are ultimately responsible for the quality of that data and for continuously improving its fitness for operational and strategic use.
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