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The national provider of information, data and IT systems for health and social care

Data quality

Our role in data quality

The Health and Social Care Act 2012 states that the HSCIC's statutory data quality role is to assess the extent to which the data it collects meets applicable published standards and to publish the results of the assessments. In addition, the HSCIC may give advice or guidance on data quality relating to the collection, analysis, publication or other dissemination of data and information.

Data quality reports

The HSCIC released the second annual report looking at the quality of nationally submitted health and social care data on 24 September 2013.

The purpose of the report is to re-emphasise the importance of good quality data to the health and social care sectors, especially in light of the findings and recommendations in the recent Francis report of the Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust Public Inquiry and Caldicott review of information governance.

The report explains how and why the HSCIC assesses and reports on the quality of the data it receives and processes. It looks at some of the key data quality issues and what is being done to resolve them. It also presents examples of what the HSCIC perceives as good and poor data quality practice.

Health and social care organisations should review the report and use it with other tools and guidance to improve the quality of their data to the standards recommended in the Francis report and the Information Governance Review, To Share or Not to Share.

The data in the report has been released as 'experimental statistics' as they are new official statistics that are undergoing evaluation which readers can feed into. The HSCIC is therefore inviting readers to complete an online survey on the report that will be used to develop future publications.

Examples of current HSCIC data quality work

Secondary Uses Service

The Secondary Uses Service (SUS) Data Quality Dashboards (DQDs) are data quality reports on SUS data. They assess aspects of data quality for a number of key data items in commissioning data sets (CDS) that cover acute NHS activity in NHS trusts and independent sector providers.

Hospital Episode Statistics

At pre-arranged dates during the year, the SUS team takes an extract from their database and sends it to the Hospital Episode Statistics (HES) team. The HES team validate and clean the extract, before deriving new items and making the data available for use. Read more about HES data quality work.

Mental Health Minimum Data Set

The Mental Health team assess aspects of data quality for a number of key data items in the Mental Health Minimum Data Set (MHMDS) and publish reports showing the results of the assessment. Read an example report.

Electronic Staff Record

The Workforce Validation Engine (WOVEN) carries out monthly assessments of the quality of data in the Electronic Staff Record (ESR) and publishes reports showing the results. Reports are sent to individual organisations, giving them the opportunity to correct their data at source. Reports are also published showing national rankings for data quality scores against an agreed list of criteria.

To view the data quality reports which accompany our publications, visit our catalogue.

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