Until now, the data produced by the Programme, which was established in 2011, has been anonymised.
Speaking at the recent State Claims Agency conference on clinical risk and patient safety in Dublin Castle, Prof Stephen Patchett, Consultant Gastroenterologist in Beaumont Hospital, Dublin, and Chair of the Programme’s working group, said the initial decision to anonymise the data was to get individual sites to “buy-into” the quality improvement initiative.
“And we were very keen to get engagement first before we started to analyse the data,” Prof Patchett told the conference.
“And there was a fear; changes induces fear, and fear induces non-engagement. We felt initially that we weren’t going to get engagement if all hospitals were not anonymised. Because we didn’t want to have a blame culture, we wanted to have a learning culture.”
However, given that the Programme has almost been completely implemented in every public hospital, the move towards naming individual hospitals is becoming more likely.
“We are at the final end of that discussion,” Prof Patchett told <strong><em>MI</em></strong>.
“So I can’t tell you with 100 per cent certainty that in December all hospitals will be de-anonymised. I just want people to understand, it is not as if it is completely anonymous. Every hospital knows who they are. And currently, every Group clinical lead knows who their hospitals are. In other words, the Group clinical lead knows their five hospitals, knows which number relates to their hospitals. They just don’t know… every other hospital.”
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<strong>Dr Stephen Patchett</strong>
The Programme could potentially evolve to the stage where individual clinicians are named, although Prof Patchett said this would be controversial.
He stressed that there was a danger if clinicians were named, the data could be misinterpreted, which could lead to “finger-pointing”.