Data Quality Framework for Health and Social Care

HIQA has published guidance on a data quality framework for health and social care.

It says the guidance will help health and social care organisations develop a data quality framework in order to systematically assess, monitor, evaluate and improve the quality of their data and information.

“This guidance can be used by all health and social care organisations, including national data collections and other organisations whose remit involves the collection, processing, use or interpretation of data and information, and whose responsibility it is to ensure the quality of that data and information.

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“Along with the guidance, HIQA has also published an interactive Data Quality Assessment Tool for health and social care, which provides a detailed set of criteria that organisations can use to comprehensively assess its data sources.”

Rachel Flynn, HIQA’s Director of Health Information and Standards, said: “Safe, reliable healthcare depends on access to, and the use of, information that is accurate, valid, timely, relevant, and complete.”

“A considerable amount of data is collected on a regular basis about health and social care services in Ireland. It is vital that there is confidence and trust in the quality of this data and information in order to help provide safe and efficient health and social care to patients and service users.

“Efforts to improve systems or processes within health and social care organisations must be driven by reliable data. Decisions are only as good as the information on which they are based. Where reliable data is available, organisations can accurately identify deficiencies, prioritise quality improvement initiatives and objectively assess whether change and improvement have occurred.

“To ensure that data is ‘fit for purpose’, health and social care organisations should adopt a systematic approach to assessing, improving and maintaining the quality of their data. The guidance we have published provides that consistent approach to managing the quality of data and information.”

This guidance applies to national health and social care data collections (such as the National Cancer Registry of Ireland and the Hospital In-Patient Enquiry Scheme (HIPE); however it can be adapted by other health and social care organisations interested in undertaking a systematic approach to assessing the quality of the data they produce.
Guidance on a data quality framework for health and social care and the Data Quality Assessment Tool for health and social care can be found at hiqa website.