Feeds

Data failings threaten NHS payments

Trial system blighted with inaccuracies

Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction

The Payment by Results (PbR) system could be in jeopardy because data collected by the NHS is not accurate, a pilot has revealed.

The Royal College of Physicians has published a report on a trial of the system conducted by its iLab facility. It found that clinical data entered onto the Hospital Episode Statistics (HES) for England and the Patient Episode Database Wales (PEDW) – used for analysis for PbR – was inaccurately entered by administration staff.

Practice Based (GP) Commissioning and Payment by Results (PbR) was launched in April 2005 to overhaul the way secondary care was funded. Its aim was to provide a rules based system to pay trusts based on their needs for services, rewarding efficiency and support of patient choice, but the RCP said the two year pilot has found the information it relies on is incomplete and inaccurate.

The Engaging clinicians in improving data quality in the NHS report concludes that although coding staff are very effective at accurately coding and entering information, the "information clinicians provide in patient notes and discharge summaries, can often be incomplete or unclear for the purposes of coding. This has been cited as a possible weak link in the data quality chain."

Mistakes included codes entered by individual trusts into a central system that allocated a patient to the wrong consultant, incorrect lengths of stay for inpatients, and failures by hospital administrators to collect and record all the relevant data.

An iLab spokesperson told GC News that the PbR is in jeopardy because the clinical information cannot be relied on.

"If the consultant undertook a particular procedure and it is then coded as something else then that can lead to problems," the spokesperson said.

The report recommends that in the short term existing national hospital databases should be expanded to include outpatient data, administrative, demographic, and clinical. In the longer term, the Department for Health will need to develop clinical information systems which better reflect working practices.

Consultants and doctors should also be more involved in the process of collecting data to ensure its accuracy.

"As a result of these limitations and existing consultant level data quality problems, national comparisons of individuals practice using HES/PEDW data should not be made," says the report.

Dr Giles Croft, project manager for iLab, said: "This research highlights the inadequacy of centrally collected clinical information in the NHS. The fact that we have to resort to decades old management information to examine clinical practice simply reflects the sad reality that there are currently no alternatives.

"We have shown that improvements can be made, but even if accuracy was at 100 per cent this data would still not come close to reflecting the complexities of the care doctors provide to their patients."

This article was originally published at Kablenet.

Kablenet's GC weekly is a free email newsletter covering the latest news and analysis of public sector technology. To register click here.

SANS - Survey on application security programs

More from The Register

next story
Lavabit loses contempt of court appeal over protecting Snowden, customers
Judges rule complaints about government power are too little, too late
Don't let no-hire pact suit witnesses call Steve Jobs a bullyboy, plead Apple and Google
'Irrelevant' character evidence should be excluded – lawyers
Record labels sue Pandora over vintage song royalties
Companies want payout on recordings made before 1972
EFF: Feds plan to put 52 MILLION FACES into recognition database
System would identify faces as part of biometrics collection
Edward Snowden on his Putin TV appearance: 'Why all the criticism?'
Denies Q&A cameo was meant to slam US, big-up Russia
Ex-Tony Blair adviser is new top boss at UK spy-hive GCHQ
Robert Hannigan to replace Sir Iain Lobban in the autumn
Judge halts spread of zombie Nortel patents to Texas in Google trial
Epic Rockstar patent war to be waged in California
US Supreme Court supremo rakes Aereo lawman in oral arguments
Antenna-array content streamers: 'Ruling against us could dissipate the cloud'
German space centre endures cyber attack
Chinese code retrieved but NSA hack not ruled out
prev story

Whitepapers

Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.