Increased understanding of how ambulance services deliver urgent and emergency care will improve patient outcomes and experience
Following successful implementation of the new Ambulance Response Programme, it has become clear that we need to understand more clearly how and why people use Ambulance Services to improve the way in which patient care is delivered.
The Ambulance Data Set (ADS) is intended to do just that. Developed by clinicians, this new data set will provide an improved, consistent level of detail about how ambulance services respond to and treat the thousands of calls that are received by the 999 service every day, and which have never been collated consistently before.
The new data set will be particularly important in understanding how and why people access urgent and emergency care, so we can help improve our planning to reduce pressure in the system. The end result will be to improve patient outcomes, safety and experience.
Why this is important?
Currently, there is a wealth of data collected by ambulance services. Information about how patients access ambulance provision, and the care and treatment they receive, is collected by all services. There is, however, considerable variation in the way this information is collected, reported, analysed and benchmarked by individual services. Detailed reporting on patient outcomes is limited, and there is a lack of integration with the wider urgent and emergency care system in order to understand the whole patient journey.
The new data set will:
- Improve patient care through better and more consistent information;
- Allow better planning of healthcare services;
- Improve communication between health and care professionals;
- Allow better linkage to other data sets, such as the Emergency Care Data Set, in order to understand the patient outcomes associated with Ambulance Service interventions.
The better data we can capture, the more we can understand and commission services that improve care for patients and reduce pressure for staff.
What is ADS?
The ADS will be developed over 36 months, with clinical leadership provided by the Association of Ambulance Chief Executives National Medical Directors Group, to ensure that the information collected via the ADS is the right information for patient care, and to enable a greater understanding of ambulance activity.
The ADS will contain data items related to:
- Patient demographics (gender, ethnicity, age at activity date);
- Episode information (including arrival and conclusion dates and times, source of referral and attendance category type);
- Clinical information (chief complaint, acuity, diagnosis, investigations and treatments);
- Injury information (data/time of injury, place type, activity and mechanism);
- Referred services and discharge information (onward referral for treatment, treatment complete, streaming, follow-up treatment and safeguarding concerns).