Quasar – Patient Safety and Service Intelligence with Collaboration for the NHS
Quasar is used by the NHS to triangulate themes and trends in patient experience and service levels of quality and safety. It is used by a wide range of Healthcare professionals and is considered by the CQC to be a major positive when assessing healthcare services.
The Quasar Surveillance Tool – Improving the safety culture within Fareham and Gosport and South-Eastern Hampshire Clinical Commissioning Groups.
Explore how Hampshire & Isle of Wight ICB (Fareham and Gosport, South Eastern Hampshire CCG) uses Quasar to improve patient experience and safeguarding in the region…
The Head of Quality and Nursing initiated a comprehensive review of the available digital surveillance systems in the market, and consulted with various stakeholders, including providers, patients, regulators and other CCGs, to identify the best fit for the local needs and context. After a rigorous evaluation process, the CCG selected a system that met the following criteria:
- Quasar was user-friendly and intuitive, allowing easy access and navigation for different users and roles.
- It was flexible and adaptable, enabling customisation and configuration of data sources, indicators, dashboards and reports.
- The system was secure and compliant, ensuring data protection and confidentiality, as well as alignment with national standards and frameworks.
- It was scalable and interoperable, facilitating data integration and exchange with other systems and platforms.
- Quasar was evidence-based and outcome-oriented, supporting data analysis and interpretation, as well as action planning and improvement.
Quasar enables quality teams to quickly collect HCP Feedback and react to incidents to then manage appropriately.
Outcomes are documented and learning is shared with teams in the network.
Since the implementation of Quasar, the CCG has significantly reduced unwarranted variation in safety practice. A single incident policy is now in place across the two localities and Quasar HCP reporting is continuing to increase, suggesting an evolving safety culture and awareness. Quasar provides functionality for a CCG to work with a provider to support improvement. The changes and improvements resulting from HCP feedback has put patient safety at the forefront of everyday practice. All primary care practices are now using Quasar and between April 2016 and March 2018 there were 2,266 pieces of feedback logged.
The importance of Feedback
Changes made following feedback has improved patient experience. Examples of this include: the hearing aid service reversed a change in hearing aid battery provision that was leading to poor patient experience, and the phlebotomy service has extended its hours and voluntary sector support has been obtained to meet patient needs.
Better use of NHS resources
By measuring performance over time, trends can be identified, and better forward planning can take place. Feedback has led to an improved use of resources locally, for example the blood service changed the blood courier schedule, reducing rejected potassium samples from 1700 to 263. With a local acute Trust, handwritten discharge summaries were causing delays in patient care and significant time was spent calling the relevant department to obtain necessary information – an electronic system has now been implemented to address these issues.
As a record is developed, a complete forensic timeline is created automatically within Quasar. This information can be exported as a spreadsheet for use in important meetings and records such as case summaries can also be exported. All collaborations withing internal and external teams are managed within Quasar.
The CCG implemented Quasar in a phased approach, starting with a pilot phase involving a small number of providers and indicators, followed by a roll-out phase covering all providers and a wider range of indicators. The system enabled the CCG to monitor local safety information in real-time, identify trends and patterns, flag potential issues and risks, and initiate timely interventions and actions. Quasar also supported the CCG to share learning and best practices across providers and systems, as well as to benchmark performance against national and regional standards. contributed to improved quality and safety outcomes for the local population, as well as enhanced efficiency and effectiveness of commissioning processes.
Safety incident policies
Quasar is a quality surveillance system underpinned by NHS ICB (CCG) safety incident policies that can help facilitate change, allowing healthcare professionals (HCPs) to report any concerns they have with the quality of care and services provided by healthcare providers. All feedback submitted is reviewed by registered nurses and midwives on a rota basis, applying their clinical judgement to determine how this is managed.
The feedback is categorised for themes and trends and shared with the provider if there are any safety concerns where learning or change is necessary. Themes and trends are analysed down to department levels to help identify services within providers that may be facing challenges in providing a quality service. This allows the Quality Team, renamed the Quasar team, to work with the providers to support the relevant team/s with improvement.
The Quasar team contacted primary care practices and planned face-to-face visits to provide training on the system. A training resource pack was developed with slides, screen shots and reference documents. Training sessions included examples of incidents that practices would find familiar and the team mix provided clinical, primary care experience and technical support. Logins to the system were provided ahead of visits to enable practical set up during the training. Quasar supports primary care by:
- Practices having a system to record complaints and incidents.
- A clear audit trail of complaints and incident management.
- Supports nurse and GP appraisal.
- Evidence of contract and CQC compliance.
- Practices areable to view HCP feedback.
- Standardises incident and complaint investigations to support cross practice working.
Fareham & Gosport and South-Eastern Hampshire CCG offer ongoing support to the CCG Practice Managers Forum, Clinical Assembly, and individually organised training sessions based on the ongoing needs. As a support resource, the Chief Nurse also led the Wessex Quality hub to develop a Quasar newsletter that provides updates on the system, best practice examples, tips and tricks, and frequently asked questions.
If you are in an NHS ICB, a GP Practice, Hospital or Care Home and would like to try Quasar for Free, contact us using the form below.