Audit and Data
Clinical effectiveness is one of the three arms of healthcare quality and can be defined as “Care which provides good outcomes, that is good results or success of care for patients. This can be assessed both through clinical outcome measures, such as mortality/survival rates, complication rates, and through patient reported outcome measures (PROMs) such as a patient’s assessment of their own symptoms and quality of life measures”. Clinical audit and the use of evidence based guidelines fall within this quality domain.
Clinical audit is “a quality improvement process that seeks to improve patient care and outcomes through systematic review of care against explicit criteria and the implementation of change.’ Clinical audit measures whether healthcare is adhering to recognised best practice standards and provides a mechanism for change and action where improvement is required. All practising ophthalmic clinicians should be actively involved in clinical audit of their own and their service’s care. The College supports a number of national clinical datasets which support risk based clinical audit and assessment of patient outcomes in various aspects of ophthalmic practice. The College delivers an HQIP national cataract audit, the National Ophthalmology Database (NOD) Audit as part of the National Clinical Audit and Patient Outcomes Programme (NCAPOP) and involvement in this is part of the College Quality Standard for all providers of NHS cataract services.
Measuring follow up timeliness to improve patient outcomes
Hospital eye services are experiencing unprecedented demand and eye clinic patients can experience delays in receiving their follow-up appointments. For some patients, especially those with chronic eye conditions, delay can result in adverse outcomes including visual loss and blindness.
NHS Digital is now publishing information on the Earliest Clinically Appropriate Data in which patients are seen to support the wider goals of the ophthalmology transformation programme.
This NHS Digital and NECT guidance on PAS has been developed by The Royal College of Ophthalmologists, supported by NHS England Elective Care Transformation Programme and High Impact Intervention Programme and NHS Digital to assist units in collecting and reporting these data.