Are we getting safer?

What can we learn about safety in Salford?

The Safer Intelligence work stream will help answer these questions.

Guided by the Measurement and Monitoring of Safety Framework, we are working with local partners to develop an innovative measurement strategy. Our aim is to collect and display data which will lift a lid on how safe patients in Salford will be today, tomorrow and in the future. Safer Intelligence will build knowledge and capacity across Salford to better understand how to use and interpret safety data to support a climate of continuous learning and improvement across the whole health and care system. 

An initial scoping study investigated how safety data is currently used and shared in all partner organisations in Salford, framed around the five domains of safety proposed:

Findings of a scoping exercise of the collection and use of ‘safety’ data across health and social care in Salford

Task-finish working groups agreed the following design principles which informed the development of the dashboard:

  • measures will include a combination of past harm, current climate and predictive tools, following the principles of the MMS framework
  • a strategic dashboard will be used to establish an overall picture of how the system is performing
  • measures will enable identification of areas for improvement, including measures which identify ‘best in class’ performers to support learning
  • the target audience will be senior leadership within a new integrated care system
  • presentation will be simple, visually appealing and interactive to help a broader audience make sense of complex data
  • data collection and display will link to existing IT systems, adding value and narrative to complement existing measures, avoiding duplication

The Safer Intelligence dashboard contains a mix of harm-specific measures (falls and medicines), sensitivity to operations (staffing and flow) as well as capturing behaviours, such as our safety maturity. Each measure builds upon and/or complements priorities identified by the integrated care organisation and/or Safer Salford programme.

Safer Intelligence Dashboard

The dashboard is specifically presented to support learning and stimulate further discussion and investigation. A deliberately small number of measures are included to provide a strategic oversight of how components of the health and care system are interacting to deliver for patients, rather than telling the whole story. The dashboard is at its most successful when users are moved away from looking at data for assurance toward inquiry, prompting searching questions such as “what can we learn about safety?” and “are we getting safer?”

We have produced a guidance document to accompany the dashboard and help users understand and interpret the data presented and an online tutorial:

We continue to be guided by the Measuring and Monitoring of Safety Framework, but recognise that this framework was not designed with a whole system in mind. The framework tells us that health and social care can learn from other industries that equal focus should be placed on leading and lagging indicators and that organisations should be asking questions and learning from their data. Top lessons from creating a whole system safety dashboard in Salford