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How do we measure up?

The following patient safety indicators provide an overview of hospital safety. They include rates of ‘Harm Free Care’ and the overall risk of mortality for patients treated by the Trust.

Harm Free Care

The NHS Safety Thermometer, launched last year, gathers data from all NHS hospitals covering patient problems such as bed sores, catheter associated urinary infections, blood clots and patient falls that can be avoided with good ‘harm free care’. Look out for the posters by each ward to see their thermometer progress.

Patient Safety Thermometer
Patient Safety Thermometer
Ward Thermometer - June 2015
Ward Thermometer - June 2015

Hospital Standardised Mortality Rate

Hospital standardised mortality rate (HSMR) is a calculation used to monitor death rates in a hospital. If a hospital has an HSMR of 100 that means that the number of patients who dies is exactly as predicted, above 100 is more and below 100 means fewer than predicted had died.

East Kent Hospitals University NHS Foundation Trust has been consistently below expected with scores less than 92 during the last year. This score is favourable when compared to the national average acute trust HSMR November 2014 to October 2015.

HSMR graph
HSMR for a subset of English non-specialist acute providers - all admissions November 2015 to October 2015.

Summary Hospital Mortality Indicator

Summary hospital mortality indicator (SHMI) is an independent clinical performance measure produced by the Health & Social Care Information Centre. SHMI calculates the actual number of deaths following admission to hospital against those expected.  SHMI also includes patients who died while at hospital and up to 30 days post discharge.

The observed volume of deaths is shown alongside the expected number (casemix adjusted) and this calculates the ratio of actual to expected deaths to create an index of 100. A relative risk of 100 would indicate performance exactly as expected. A relative risk of 95 would indicate a rate 5% below (better than) expected with a figure of 105 indicating a performance 5% higher (worse than) expected.

Summary hospital mortality indicator (SHMI) graph
SHMI for subset of English non-specialist acute providers - all admission July 2015 to June 2015.

Performance is underpinned by the introduction of safer systems, such as

  • VitalPAC, a system of real time bed-side detection and escalation of deterioration using 21st century IT
  • tools to improve the recognition and management of sepsis using national guidance
  • tight infection prevention and control measures, including targeted antibiotic therapy. 

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