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Understanding and using the NHS Safety Thermometer

A guide for frontline teams

Maxine Russell

on 27 August 2014

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Transcript of Understanding and using the NHS Safety Thermometer

Tips for everyday use
NHS Safety Thermometer
Top tip
1. Make sure everyone understands WHY you are doing the survey
2. Make sure everyone understands the operational definitions
Organise a meeting
of the staff that are
collecting data
two days before the collection
Top tips
1.Check clinical records notes on paper and computer
2. Make sure the information is up to date
3. Examine the patients skin
4. Ask the patient or carer
Check that they understand where they
need to look to get the right information?
Top tip: Develop a standard way
of Introducing the survey
Hello Mr Smith, my name is Sarah and
today we are checking that all our patients
are safe. We want to talk to you and check you are free from pressure sores, that you haven't fallen, that you are ok with your bladder and that we are managing to keep you safe from blood clots
This will help to prevent mistakes in the graphs
you generate and false impressions
when the data are reviewed.
Invest time in checking the data are right
It is helpful to get frontline staff and clinical teams to work together
to prevent data entry errors, checking one anothers entry and agreeing
what and how the data can be entered. This also assists agreement and
Even ONE wrong entry can underestimate
or overestimate by up to 10%
Remember that the reason you are doing the assessment is to
protect the patient from harm, if you find an omission, the survey is
a 'call to action' you can change it for the patient there and then
Lies, damn lies and statistics
Use the analyser tab at the back of the NHS Safety Thermometer
to review your data in graphical or tabular format
Produce your graphs
Giving real time feedback when staff have
invested time in measurement helps to
keep people interested and engaged.

The longer the delay
the less the connection and relevance.
Plan to discuss your findings the
same day
Put markers on the graphs which show the things you
have done to improve
Put your results on the wall
and celebrate success
Think about how you could figure out where to
start with your improvement work? Lots of resources are
available on www.harmfreecare.org.
Start to plan areas for further
or think about on-line or e learning?
You could plan some in-service training?
Do you always have the equipment waiting
for the patient?
You could do an equipment audit?
Even the most established teams benefit from looking
afresh at the reliability of their ward rounding process
You could introduce intentional
rounding or make changes to your
regular checking protocols
with your team
You could set an improvement goal
We will reduce pressure ulcers
what will you accomplish and by when?
We will reduce pressure ulcers by 50% from
4 per month to 2 per month by April 2013
Be bold and add a number
This feels scary and needs to be accompanied by the right
conversations and training, remember, you can't improve
what you don't measure
Be even bolder and put this aim
on the wall in a public area for staff
patients and public to see
'When I surveyed the 3rd patient and couldn't find the documented evidence of a risk assessment, I went and found the doctor. We worked out the reason together and fixed it there and then. We are working on regular monitoring for the next few weeks'
Ward Manager
It isn't guess work,
it's improvement
Commit to Act Now
Full transcript