National data collection standards will contribute to the delivery of safe and reliable health and social care
The Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA) has today published Information management standards for national health and social care data collections which, when implemented, will improve the quality of national health information and data, contributing to the delivery of safe and reliable healthcare.
There are ten new standards which focus on the information governance practices and the management of national health and social care data collections in Ireland. These standards will apply to all health and social care data collections established and maintained on a national basis, providing a framework of best practice in the collection of health and social care data.
The Director of Health Information at HIQA, Rachel Flynn, said “Accurate, relevant and timely data is essential in order to improve health and social care, inform decision-making and plan for future health and social care needs, both at national and local levels.
“The primary purpose of the standards published today is to improve the quality of national health information and data, which will ultimately contribute to the delivery of safe and reliable health and social care. Compliance with these standards will help to instil confidence in patients, clinicians and all other stakeholders that healthcare decisions are made based on high-quality information, the availability of which will ultimately improve patient safety.”
Each national health and social care data collection holds a rich source of data. These information sources are used in many ways to inform decision-making, monitor diseases, organise services and measure, monitor and report on health and social care related activities and outcomes. The HSE uses indicators derived from these data collections through its service plan to monitor its performance on the quality of care. The Department of Health also collates these indicators in an annual National Healthcare Quality Reporting system report to provide a national overview of the quality of healthcare in Ireland. These standards will improve the quality of the data collected.
National health and social care data collections are national repositories of routinely collected health and social care data in Ireland. They play a crucial role by providing a national overview of a particular health or social care service. National data collections which play a role in providing a national overview of particular health and social care services include the National Cancer Registry of Ireland (NCRI), Immunisation Uptake Statistics, and the Computerised Infectious Disease Reporting (CIDR) System. They enable the assessment of key indicators of the health service, including influenza vaccine uptake, breast cancer screening rates and information in relation to hospital-acquired infections such as MRSA rates.
HIQA will develop a structured programme of assessing compliance with the Information management standards for national health and social care data collections within its legislative remit. Recognising that these standards are new, information sessions will be held to support national health and social care data collections to comply with these standards. HIQA plans to initiate a review programme during 2017, which will commence with the distribution of a ‘self-assessment tool’ to national health and social care data collections within its remit. This programme will be phased, and HIQA will continue to engage with national health and social care data collections in advance of the commencement of the process.
Marty Whelan, Head of Communications and Stakeholder Engagement, HIQA, 01 814 7480 / 086 2447 623, firstname.lastname@example.org
Under the Health Act 2007, HIQA has responsibility for setting standards for all aspects of health information and monitoring compliance with those standards. HIQA is also charged with evaluating the quality of the information available on health and social care and making recommendations in relation to improving the quality and filling in gaps where information is needed but is not currently available.
A public consultation on the draft standards was held over a nine-week period from 8 July 2016 until 9 September 2016.
Benefits to the public and to the health and social sector are listed below.
Health and social care users will benefit from:
- improved information governance arrangements
- more informed decision-making
- higher quality and safer care for everyone
- better use of public funds, benefiting all users of health and social care services.
Health and social care professionals will benefit as:
- the quality of information will be better assured
- information will be delivered in ways that better support its intended use
- relevant information will be more accessible for informed decision-making
- the time spent accessing and recording information will be reduced
- the quality of health and social care services research will improve.
Health and social care organisations will benefit as:
- more valuable, accurate information will be available
- information will be more easily accessible
- the duplication of data entry effort will be significantly reduced
- risk management will be improved
- there will be improved access to information, which will allow greater comparison between health and social care agencies
- there will be an increase in the reliability and accessibility of information, which will facilitate greater performance monitoring
- information used for service planning and service delivery will be of higher quality.