Please find below an update about Dr Foster’s plans with regard to the new Summary Hospital-level Mortality Indicator (SHMI) and the Dr Foster Hospital Guide.
1. Summary Hospital-Level Mortality Indicator
The SHMI is being produced by the NHS Information Centre, and Dr Foster and Imperial College have been involved in a working group to define the new indicator. A draft methodology for the SHMI was published by the Information Centre on the 29th July and this is still under consultation until the 15th August. The Information Centre has said they will publish the final methodology at the end of August.
We believe the SHMI will be a valuable new indicator in understanding hospital mortality and we will be supporting all customers with information to understand the factors that result in their particular level of mortality and to track the indicator over time.
We are making a commitment to provide bespoke SHMI reports for each trust within four weeks of the final methodology being published and to making this a valuable resource to our customers. Our reports will deliver the insight trusts need to understand the factors affecting their SHMI figures and comparison with HSMR.
We are also committed to including the SHMI within the tool suite for our Real Time Monitoring (RTM) customers within three months of the data being made available by the NHS Information Centre.
We believe the HSMR, particularly its ability to drill-down into the root causes of mortality performance, and in its ability to provide more timely information about hospital mortality remains a crucial indicator and we will continue to support customers with information on HSMRs.
2. Hospital Guide
The second area we are writing to you about is the 2011 Hospital Guide. Last month we consulted on a range of new indicators relating to obstetrics and cancer. The consultation concluded on 25th July and we are currently working these through. The responses showed that trusts wanted more opportunity to use, present feedback and embed new indicators before comparative performance is published in the Hospital Guide.
In response to this Dr Foster has made the decision that we will NOT publish the proposed new obstetric and cancer indicators until our customers have had the opportunity to work with us to define and understand them.
The Hospital Guide will instead focus on analysis of the Hospital Guide questionnaire results and on detailed analysis of hospital mortality and patient safety. We will focus on mortality across specific diagnosis and care groups such as FNOF and older people, drivers of in-hospital mortality and we will be reviewing staffing levels, particularly on the weekends.
This is clearly an important step for Dr Foster and one that we hope will lead to higher levels of engagement and collaboration with the NHS that means we can continue to act as a real catalyst for change and improvement.
Over the coming weeks the Hospital Guide team will be defining our themes and communicating these to our customers via a variety of channels.
Dr Foster is today setting out its Customer Promise:
- We are committed to transparency. We believe publication of performance improves outcomes but will not publish new indicators to the press or wider market until NHS trusts have had the opportunity to collaborate with us in their development.
- We are listening and responding to our customers and the market’s feedback.
- We will continue to work in collaboration with the NHS and healthcare professionals worldwide to develop and make available innovative and informative indicators that improve the quality and efficiency of healthcare.