To explore whether retrospective case record review (RCRR) can be used to create a national estimate of deaths thought to be due to problems in care. This will be based on the sampling of a proportion of deaths to build an annual indicator for the NHS.
Current measures of patient safety are limited as they do not provide a robust overarching measurement for the safety of healthcare services. Unlike hospital mortality rates (HSMR and SHMI) which are criticised for being indirect measures of the quality of care, RCRR is a more direct assessment of deaths thought to be due to problems in care.
Our proposed annual estimate will use external clinical reviewers to carry out RCRR in a representative sample of deaths. This will be distinct from the RCRR process carried out by providers themselves and will generate data only at a national level.
Our aim is to ensure that the data generated are robust and meaningful, to avoid fuelling the on-going debate about what statistics can and can’t tell us about mortality. It will also be vital to ensure the indicator is reproducible and able to detect change over time.
- Healthcare Quality Improvement Partnership (HQIP) will manage procurement of this work, which will likely commence by Q1 2016/17.