New HIQA health info management standards
The Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA) has published information management standards for national health and social care data collections which it says when implemented, will improve the quality of national health information and data, contributing to the delivery of safe and reliable healthcare.
Ten new standards focus on the information governance practices and the management of national health and social care data collections in Ireland. The standards will apply to all health and social care data collections established and maintained on a national basis, providing, said HIQA, a framework of best practice in the collection of health and social care data.
“Accurate, relevant and timely data is essential in order to improve health and social care, inform decision-making and plan for future health and social care needs, both at national and local levels,” said Rachel Flynn, director, Health Information, HIQA.
Health data and information
“The primary purpose of the standards published today is to improve the quality of national health information and data, which will ultimately contribute to the delivery of safe and reliable health and social care. Compliance with these standards will help to instil confidence in patients, clinicians and all other stakeholders that healthcare decisions are made based on high-quality information, the availability of which will ultimately improve patient safety.”
According to HIQA, each national health and social care data collection holds a rich source of data. These information sources are used in many ways to inform decision-making, monitor diseases, organise services and measure, monitor and report on health and social care related activities and outcomes. The HSE uses indicators derived from these data collections through its service plan to monitor its performance on the quality of care. The Department of Health also collates these indicators in an annual National Healthcare Quality Reporting system report to provide a national overview of the quality of healthcare in Ireland. These standards will improve the quality of the data collected, said HIQA.
National health and social care data collections are national repositories of routinely collected health and social care data in Ireland, and provide a national overview of a particular health or social care service. National data collections, which play a role in providing a national overview of particular health and social care services, include the National Cancer Registry of Ireland (NCRI), Immunisation Uptake Statistics, and the Computerised Infectious Disease Reporting (CIDR) System. They enable the assessment of key indicators of the health service, including influenza vaccine uptake, breast cancer screening rates and information in relation to hospital-acquired infections such as MRSA rates, said HIQA.
HIQA has said it will develop a structured programme of assessing compliance with the Information management standards for national health and social care data collections within its legislative remit. Recognising that these standards are new, information sessions will be held to support national health and social care data collections to comply with these standards. The authority said it plans to initiate a review programme during 2017, which will commence with the distribution of a ‘self-assessment tool’ to national health and social care data collections within its remit. This programme will be phased, and the authority will continue to engage with national health and social care data collections in advance of the commencement of the process.