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Safety Thermometer Tool

The NEQOS Safety Thermometer Tool allows Trusts to compare themselves against their peers (for improvement purposes only) as well as to undertake internal comparisons across different service areas within the Trust. NEQOS can also produce posters that summarise ward and/or service area performance and can be used by the Trust to feedback to front-line staff in these areas.

Trusts are expected to collect Safety Thermometer data as part of their standard contract. The aim of the NHS Safety Thermometer is to provide a local improvement tool for measuring, monitoring and analysing patient harms and ‘harm free care’. Data is collected by Trusts on pressure ulcers, falls, urinary tract infections (UTI), and Venous Thromboembolism (VTE) assessments, prophylaxis and treatment. The data collection forms provided by the Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC) allows some immediate summary feedback charts to Trusts on their data, and the HSCIC collate all Trust data and provide this on their website for analysis at local, regional and national level. The NEQOS tool therefore aims to provide more detailed analysis for subscribing Trusts.

Produced quarterly, the NEQOS Safety Thermometer Tool uses national Safety Thermometer data published by HSCIC and presents this by Trust across the North East & North Cumbria (NENC) area, providing comparisons between peers as well as with the national average, with breakdowns by service areas for detailed analysis.

Our interactive dashboard is e-mailed to subscribers, allowing them to access specific data for service areas. We also provide each dashboard with a narrative overview summary, including comparisons, as well as identifying areas that might require improvement.

Figure:  Example of an overview summary from NEQOS Safety Thermometer tool

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The Safety Thermometer is designed to act as a ‘temperature check’ and therefore is useful to  to look for improvement over a period of time. This is why our analysts incorporate trends over time, allowing subscribers to identify periods of improvement as well as areas that may be  declining over time.

Figure:  Excerpt from NEQOS Safety Thermometer tool showing graphical displays of trends over time

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To note:  The NHS Safety Thermometer data are not intended to be used for performance purposes but for supporting quality improvement and should be viewed alongside other information on harm prevalence and incidence.

 

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