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The new NHS Improvement 'Making Data Count' programme has been hailed as an excellent way of helping physiotherapists demonstrate the effectiveness of treatment.
Based on the statistical process control (SPC) method of recording and using data originally implemented in the manufacturing sector, it is now being used by health professionals to analyse data in a way that tracks trends in outcomes, providing more relevant detail than the standard red-amber-green (RAG) system.
Euan McComiskie, UK health informatics lead at the Chartered Society of Physiotherapists, said the new system is an invaluable way for physios to show how their work is making a positive difference.
He commented: "This is a fantastic resource to improve members’ ability to influence discussions on service provision and improvement."
Head of improvement analytics at NHS Improvement Samantha Riley developed the system with her small team, telling Frontline Magazine the use of data by the NHS in the past has been one of its weak points.
"But using SPC, we can see if something is really improving, if it is static or if there is a true downward trend," she added.
"If you are doing improvement work, it can also be used to show that you really have been successful."
She concluded that it can be of great use to physiotherapists, as it would give them the "knowledge, resources and confidence" to use data effectively and enhance patient care as a result.
Making Data Count was first made available earlier this year, with a guide to its usage being published by NHS Improvement in May.
In a video posted as part of the guidance, executive director of NHS Improvement Adam Sewell-Jones said the system could be described as "measurement for better judgement".
Having sat on boards for years in the NHS, he said he had been "struck" by how limited the RAG system was in providing relevant data.
Written by Matthew Horton
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