Let staff know how they are performing by displaying outcome stats on wards
If you want to improve your performance - and that of your team’s - you really have to be able to measure it.
One problem that we found when thinking about how to reduce our incidence of hospital-acquired pressure ulcers or staff absence was that although we collected this information through Productive Ward, not everyone on the ward had access to it or knew how to use it. There was no standard way of getting information across the whole organisation. People would know how many falls there had been that day, but not how many there had been two days before. So if you wanted to know about things such as management of complaints or number of falls, there was no standard way of displaying the information. We couldn’t see the key things that were happening or learn from the trends.
We decided to introduce Knowing How We are Doing, which is an approach to measure, track and help improve against Productive Ward objectives. It highlights how the care that an individual team give contributes to the trust’s strategic goals.
Tips to implement a new information programme
● Get staff to buy in from day one, it’s vital to get them to understand how using it will improve patient care
● Make sure you get support from your IT team and get them to show staff how to use Microsoft Excel or other report-generating software
● Involve all the staff
● Make sure the presentation of the data means staff can see what it means straight away
● Give staff the power to challenge each other over the results
White boards were bought for nine pilot areas. The trust’s vision and values were used as the heading for each section (quality, safety and environment) using the same colours for each topic to make the board a more effective visual tool.
Each month the data is inputted into an IT system by ward staff and once the spreadsheet is updated, graphs are produced for each section. This data displays trends for each key area for the previous month and the safety cross at the side of the graph is updated in real time each day. It is an extremely powerful visual tool for patients, visitors and all staff.
The biggest challenge we had was encouraging nurses to use Excel and accessing different IT programmes. Having an information team is key. It’s vital to have an intranet and help people to input the data to populate
You need to spell out to teams how to use it at ward level - tell everyone from healthcare assistants and housekeepers to ward sisters. This is key in keeping up with improvement ideas.
We surveyed the staff before they implemented the pilot, and again afterwards. We found ward staff were actively engaged and interested in how they are doing as a team and they now have access to data that they historically never saw, unless they were directly involved in an incident.
● This project at Blackpool won the Patient Safety Awards 2012 for Data/Information Management. Enter your project at www.patientsafetyawards.co.uk for our 2013 awards
Paul Jebb has worked in numerous posts including modern matron and senior nurse manager. He is now acting assistant director of nursing and head of patient experience at Blackpool Teaching Hospitals Foundation Trust