If you look for a definition of ‘quality’ in the management literature, you will get many. Quality, it seems, means different things to different people. In healthcare too, there are lots of different definitions. However, the NHS has produced its own, which is ‘official’, in that it is enshrined in the new Health and Social Care Act 2012:
‘The NHS is organising itself around a single definition of quality: care that is effective, safe and provides as positive an experience as possible‘. (National Quality Board, 2012)
The reason this is of interest to, is that it calls for a new approach for supporting collaboration across the system based on ‘the sharing of information and intelligence through a new network of Quality Surveillance Groups’.
So, the information in our IT systems will increasingly be used to produce intelligence for such quality groups. There is, therefore, a clear opportunity for BI and consulting, and also to highlight how new systems help fulfil quality reporting.