Feeds

Data failings threaten NHS payments

Trial system blighted with inaccuracies

Intelligent flash storage arrays

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.

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
Facebook, Apple: LADIES! Why not FREEZE your EGGS? It's on the company!
No biological clockwatching when you work in Silicon Valley
Lords take revenge on REVENGE PORN publishers
Jilted Johns and Jennies with busy fingers face two years inside
Yes, yes, Steve Jobs. Look what I'VE done for you lately – Tim Cook
New iPhone biz baron points to Apple's (his) greatest successes
Happiness economics is bollocks. Oh, UK.gov just adopted it? Er ...
Opportunity doesn't knock; it costs us instead
Ex-US Navy fighter pilot MIT prof: Drones beat humans - I should know
'Missy' Cummings on UAVs, smartcars and dying from boredom
Facebook pays INFINITELY MORE UK corp tax than in 2012
Thanks for the £3k, Zuck. Doh! you're IN CREDIT. Guess not
Sysadmin with EBOLA? Gartner's issued advice to debug your biz
Start hoarding cleaning supplies, analyst firm says, and assume your team will scatter
Edward who? GCHQ boss dodges Snowden topic during last speech
UK spies would rather 'walk' than do 'mass surveillance'
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.