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Identifying positive deviants in healthcare quality and safety: a mixed methods study

O'Hara, Jane K, Grašič, Katja, Gutacker, Nils, Street, Andrew ORCID: 0000-0002-2540-0364, Foy, Robbie, Thompson, Carl, Wright, John and Lawton, Rebecca (2018) Identifying positive deviants in healthcare quality and safety: a mixed methods study. Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine, 111 (8). pp. 276-291. ISSN 0141-0768

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Identification Number: 10.1177/0141076818772230


Objective Solutions to quality and safety problems exist within healthcare organisations, but to maximise the learning from these positive deviants, we first need to identify them. This study explores using routinely collected, publicly available data in England to identify positively deviant services in one region of the country. Design A mixed methods study undertaken July 2014 to February 2015, employing expert discussion, consensus and statistical modelling to identify indicators of quality and safety, establish a set of criteria to inform decisions about which indicators were robust and useful measures, and whether these could be used to identify positive deviants. Setting Yorkshire and Humber, England. Participants None - analysis based on routinely collected, administrative English hospital data. Main outcome measures We identified 49 indicators of quality and safety from acute care settings across eight data sources. Twenty-six indicators did not allow comparison of quality at the sub-hospital level. Of the 23 remaining indicators, 12 met all criteria and were possible candidates for identifying positive deviants. Results Four indicators (readmission and patient reported outcomes for hip and knee surgery) offered indicators of the same service. These were selected by an expert group as the basis for statistical modelling, which supported identification of one service in Yorkshire and Humber showing a 50% positive deviation from the national average. Conclusion Relatively few indicators of quality and safety relate to a service level, making meaningful comparisons and local improvement based on the measures difficult. It was possible, however, to identify a set of indicators that provided robust measurement of the quality and safety of services providing hip and knee surgery.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2018 The Royal Society of Medicine
Divisions: Health Policy
Subjects: R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine > RA0421 Public health. Hygiene. Preventive Medicine
Date Deposited: 14 May 2018 10:02
Last Modified: 18 Apr 2024 16:24
Funders: NIHR CLAHRC Yorkshire and Humber

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