Are we getting safer?

What can we learn about safety in Salford?

The aim of the Safer Intelligence work steam was to build a measurement system to answer the question ‘how safe is health and social care in Salford?’ This work stream came to an end in 2018. 

Guided by the Measurement and Monitoring of Safety Framework, we worked collaboratively with local partners to develop an interactive dashboard for two priority safety areas (falls and medicines). Over 160 different measures and datasets were considered and reviewed as part of this development work, and were refined to 16 measures in the final dashboard.

You can view the dashboard here.

Our aim was to collect and display data which lifted a lid on how safe patients in Salford are 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.

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.

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.