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Quality and safety

Clinical effectiveness

All healthcare providers want to deliver good quality care to patients; commissioners want to be able Clinical effectivenessto measure and benchmark clinical effectiveness when commissioning healthcare services; and patients and carers want to know the treatment and care is working.

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Clinical effectiveness is the impact on health and wellbeing as a direct result of care and treatment. Healthcare providers must strive for the best possible outcomes by complying with evidence-based guidelines. Clinical audit is an essential tool in the delivery of clinically effective care, allowing professionals to measure their performance, including assessing clinical outcomes, and to make improvements where practice does not reach appropriate standards. Patient reported outcome measures (PROMs) are used to ensure patients can tell us how the care and treatment is working for them. PROMS should always be developed with patients to ensure that they are relevant.

The absence of a clear plan to routinely measure clinical effectiveness, including assessing adherence to evidence-based guidelines, clinical audit and PROMS, could be a symptom of a failing or potentially failing service. A specialty provider networking care into a smaller service will provide the framework, knowledge and experience to embed a culture of continuous improvement. The smaller service will benefit from a wider professional support network, expertise and resource for utilising specialty specific measures and the ability to benchmark services not just against national standards but also against the new peer group. For the specialty provider, the learning environment increases.

We have provided examples of broadly agreed generic metrics for colorectal, neurology, orthopaedics and ophthalmology as well as a blank version for other specialties to use. They are by CQC domain and metric group. These documents can be downloaded and adapted.

Tools, documents, resources