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Evaluation of the uptake of advice, directives and guidelines to the NHS concerning patient safety by the Safety Alert Broadcast System.

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Presentation on theme: "Evaluation of the uptake of advice, directives and guidelines to the NHS concerning patient safety by the Safety Alert Broadcast System."— Presentation transcript:

1 Evaluation of the uptake of advice, directives and guidelines to the NHS concerning patient safety by the Safety Alert Broadcast System

2 Research study information Funding: Patient Safety Research Programme (headed by Professor Richard Lilford) Principle investigators: D r Karin Lowson (York) Dr Annette Lankshear (Cardiff)

3 Purpose of the research To determine how directives are disseminated and acted upon in trusts, and whether there are differences between trusts; To assess the reaction of key stakeholders in Trusts to the SABS system, and to identify the ways in which they think that the alerts could be improved; To determine whether, and how quickly, a range of alerts were implemented; To identify, in cases of non-compliance, the factors impeding implementation of the requirements of the alert.

4 Categories of alerts chosen for study NPSAMHRADHDHF&E Immediate action Naso-gastric tubes ICDs ActionLatex allergy Oral methotrexate Needle-free intra-vascular connectors ICDs X 10 Electrically operated beds (PCTs only) Guedal airways (ambulance trusts only) RadiotherapyMobile heated food trolley alcohol based hand rub Update Info request

5 Methodology Interview issuing agencies Survey of SHA and trust SABS liaison officers Explore SABS data Make site visits to: 20 acute trusts 15 PCTs 2 mental health trusts 4 ambulance trusts Trusts selected via stratified sample based on: Size (acute and PCTs) Geography (north and south)

6 Survey Survey of all SABS liaison officers sent to every trust SLO (n=561) 343 completed questionnaires were electronically returned, a response rate of 62%.

7 56% are MDLOs 216 different job titles risk management (59.5%), clinical governance (28%) health and safety (25%) 35% had a clinical background Varied seniority 52% were neither on Trust Board nor had a manager on Trust Board 61% indicated that they spent between 2 and 10% of their time on SABS (To end March 2007, 221 SABS alerts had been issued by the MHRA, 26 by the NPSA and 39 by estates and facilities) Findings of Survey

8 Trust visits Acute Trusts: Maximum of 2 people for 3 days Ambulance, mental health, Primary Care Trusts: On person for 2 days (another researcher following up alerts in GP surgeries by phoning practice manager)

9 Purpose of interviews To ascertain: how alerts are disseminated how decisions are made (which committees) whether there are gaps, delays etc Whether information reached front line staff Whether action was taken at front line the benefits of the SABS system The problems in the SABS system

10 Purpose of audits To seek objective evidence of implementation – minutes of meetings, audit of equipment, information from nursing notes – to validate verbal information.

11 Interviews and audits – in reality done at same time SABS co-ordinator (all tracker alerts) Clinical Governance lead Medical Director Director of Nursing (Chief Nurse) Chief Pharmacist Rheumatologist or rheumatology specialist nurse Director of Facilities (ABHR, mobile heated food trolleys) Superintendent radiotherapist or radiotherapy services manager. Cardiologist for ICDs or senior medical physiologist or senior cardiac technician ( ICDs ) Purchasing manager (latex and pH papers) Senior electrician (mobile heated food trolleys) Nurses / paramedics Porters (mobile heated food trolleys) those trackers they had had involvement with methotrexate

12 Ward/clinic/ambulance station visits Visits to 10 wards / clinics / ambulance station Interview nurse in charge/ district nurse/ paramedic undertake audit of Availability of pH paper for testing naso-gastric tubes Latex allergies Needle free intravascular connectors Alcohol based hand rub – positioning of containers and total stocks

13 Latex allergy Do you have immediate ready access to non latex versions of the following equipment? - Interviews and audits Respiratory Equipment: Airways; O2 masks; IV and Feeding Tubes: Naso-gastric tubes; IV lines; Dextrose 5% IV fluid; Monitoring and Observation Equipment: Gloves; BP cuffs; Resuscitation equipment; Other Equipment: Adhesives; Mattresses.

14 Latex allergy alert Trusts should develop a comprehensive policy or review their existing policy, which should include measures to: Substitute, control and eliminate latex where appropriate and possible; Ensure staff are aware of and have access to safe and effective latex-free alternatives; Limit latex to its most valuable uses; Identify and protect sensitised patients; Raise awareness about latex sensitivity amongst patients and staff; Ensure that latex-free alternatives do not replace the risk of reaction to latex with another risk; The policy should be backed up by efficient management arrangements and be audited.

15 Latex allergy – findings All aware of gloves and the dangers to staff Majority of staff said they remembered alert but then made clear they were thinking of prior action on gloves Even when prompted many could not think of other equipment containing latex Theatres and paediatric wards much more aware “well how many people have a really serious allergy?” Blind faith “they wouldn’t provide this stuff if it wasn’t safe….” Latex and non latex mattresses identical – no markings 8 policies pre-dated NPSA alert and 4 of 9 PCT policies seen only dealt with gloves 4 policies unratified 1-2 years after publication



18 Implantable Cardiac Defibrillators (ICDs) 10 alerts in 2005 affecting Ela Medical Guidant St Jude Medical Medtronic Variety of problems Batteries losing charge, arcing causing damage to components, memory failure For immediate action, action or information/update – recall of patients, sort problem, withdraw stocks and consider explantation

19 9 Trusts either implanting centres or follow up centres 4 only followed up patients implanted elsewhere 5 implanted: 4 implanted 11-50 ICDs pa 1 more than 100 Makes and models:: 2 used one make & several models 3 several makes & models None had policy or guidelines on management of recalls 3 had electronic database 2 used manual systems Some report manufacturers will give serial numbers implanted in the trust – others check each no from MHRA alert – each pt checked individually HRUK computer database reported not to be working at time alerts published Implantable Cardiac Defibrillators (ICDs) findings I

20 5 stated had models affected by alerts 3 undertook audits 2 could pull record if necessary Varying numbers of patients recalled Average time for recall between 1 and 6 weeks 2 centres explanted ICDs 4 stated did not keep stocks Patients given information verbally One centre gave alert to patients Implantable Cardiac Defibrillators (ICDs) findings II

21 Some trusts use paper records Electronic system - you can search model and make but serial numbers have to be individually checked Many trusts not implanting centres but do follow up - negotiation with implanting centre as to who chases patient up If patients DNA they implement DNA procedure, contact next of kin, GPs, send letters Patients move One trust used rep in clinic to give more info to patients; one trust brought pts in by taxi and offered patient safety manager presence at interview for support Implantable Cardiac Defibrillators (ICDs) findings III

22 Naso-gastric tube feeds problem Risk: insertion into oesophagus, lungs, pleural space, brain Migration into mouth, lungs (especially neonates where tube length is very short) Tube position tested on insertion Tested before every feed Use pH paper not litmus

23 Many RNs unaware of alert Alert not circulated to DNs in many PCTs 56% said they used pH paper although some called it litmus Litmus found on 16 wards; pH paper not found on 96 wards 6% would still use whoosh test Variable awareness of correct pH range, with 11% stating 1- 3, 21% saying 4-6; 2.5% saying 7-9 and the rest either didn’t use NG tubes or didn’t know. Naso-gastric tube feeds findings

24 Methotrexate - problems Confusion between 2.5 and 10 mg tablets Need good patient records and information Rheumatologists objected to patient info recommendations so an amendment was issued.

25 Methotrexate findings Led by pharmacists Good implementation – evidence of work across acute trusts and PCTs Withdrawal of 10mg tablets with few exceptions GPs less compliant Patient information reconsidered

26 Needle free Intravascular connectors (MDA 2005 030) Manufacturers have reduced the total use life expressed either in usages or in days or both (often 7 days and 100 usages) and give advice about disinfectant contact and drying time Advice to read instructions

27 Needle free Intravascular connectors finding I 52.9% used needle free intra vascular connectors on their wards. How often changed? 10% would change them every 24 hours or less; 23% change them every 24 – 72 hours; 9% change them between 3-7 days and 2% said no there was no prescribed time period 4% dont know 53% always used an alcohol wipe before attaching a giving set of syringe to the connector ; 6% said they didn’t use anything 30% said they just wiped the connector. Contact time unknown 8% of wards said there was a policy on the management of intra vascular connectors which was later observed during the ward audit, 14% said yes they did have a policy or guidance but could not show a copy to the researcher at the time of audit and 39% said no. 18% of patient records viewed stated date and time of insertion and number of uses for intra vascular connectors, 11% said they did not record this information and 15% had no patients on the ward at the time of visit which meant records could not be observed.

28 Few nurses aware of this alert Few recognised the device as a needle free intravascular connector – called “Bionectors” or “bungs” Alert said read the instructions – but these are never circulated with equipment because of topping up system (one set of instructions in boxes of 50) Needle free Intravascular connectors – findings II

29 4 ambulance trusts 64% of those interviewed use them Variety of makes 3 (14%) respondents remember being involved in recall 3 (14%) respondents said they would check to see if airways damaged 5 resps (23%) said they did not 6 (27% did not know 16 (72%) alert did not apply Guedel airways

30 Thought to be responsibility of supplier Few DNs aware - no involvement in identifying these beds Little evidence of foot controls in use, although DNs thought they should have known about this Electrically operated beds (MDA 2004/042)

31 Messages for MHRA MHRA Alerts in the main are thought to be clear, concise and easy to implement In many Trusts the MHRA alerts are managed as before – only electronically and with a tracking system. Ensure action is clear – not vague warnings Repetition - manufacturer notifications, MHRA and NPSA Badly targeted – especially to MH trusts and PCTs Circulation lists on alerts too long and largely ignored ALL SLOs select for relevance to their trust and managers then filter out alerts they deem to be irrelevant Know your audience SLOs come from a wide range of backgrounds (many not MDLOs) Explain something about the devices to assist the SLOs In dissemination Some confusion between MDLOs and SLOs Action complete does not mean action complete - it may mean alert disseminated Concern re your uptake of their concerns

32 System improvements Better targeting Use of better terminology Clearer, more concise versions for GPs and front line staff Joining up the different alert systems More appropriate grading of alerts as to risk and Importance Improved risk assessment of alerts Sequential numbering of alerts rather than numbering with issuing bodies Improved access to archive of alerts

33 Recommendation – classification of alerts Urgency:Must action be taken quickly? Complexity:Does alert require a number of actions, possibly by several people at different levels of the organisation? Staff Focus:Does alert focus on changes in behaviour of staff as opposed to equipment? Local interpretation:Does alert require translation into a local policy possibly following a risk assessment? Financial significance:Might alert have significant financial consequences? Organisational impact:Will a significant number of people (more than 10) have to take action as a result of the alert Sustainability:Does the alert have ongoing implications possibly involving staff training? Patient recall:Does the alert require the recall of patients?

34 Messages for SABS Glitches in system acknowledging receipt Signing off – delay between signing off and this appearing on the SHA level website Late sign-offs – alert removed Search facility Put message in strapline (for GPs) Timing Do not send out on Friday afternoons – (may get missed because of handovers – also lose three days in implementation) Little evidence of interest among doctors Wide variation in internal systems – why not extend the DH system

35 Messages for Trusts Workload of SLOs has increased, yet it is only seen to be a small part of their job (2-10%) Dissemination systems work well to lower management level – good records Overconfidence of senior managers in system – too many hands-off Some SLOs have developed sophisticated systems of distribution Limited evidence of implementation Paper copies at ward/clinic level – 47% stated that they still received alerts in paper form Alerts are not self executive Little evidence of audit Little evidence of any interest or awareness among doctors

36 Signing off Thank you for listening

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