Recommendation 272

Accreditation scheme for healthcare statistical methodologies

Accepted
There is a demonstrable need for an accreditation system to be available for healthcare-relevant statistical methodologies. The power to create an accreditation scheme has been included in the Health and Social Care Act 2012, it should be used as soon as practicable.

The Health and Social Care Act 2012 established powers for the Health and Social Care Information Centre to establish an accreditation scheme for information service providers.  The Act allows the Health and Social Care Information Centre to establish a procedure, and set of criteria, for accrediting any information service providers.

The Health and Social Care Information Centre set out its objectives for 2013/14 in its publication Informing Better Care including the delivery of all of its statutory responsibilities as set out in the Health and Social Care Act 2012The ambitious program includes the delivery of a safe transition from the existing information standards products and services in to the new operating model and the fulfillment of its data quality assurance roles.  Given the scope of the program the Health and Social Care Information Centre has committed to deliver, they will not take forward an accreditation system this financial year but will consider how such a system can be taken forward in 2014/15.

Update

The Health and Social Care Information Centre hosts the Indicator Assurance Service which quality assures the construction of health indicators. The Assurance service is used to quality assure all new indicators put forward for inclusion in both the NHS Outcomes Framework and Clinical Commissioning Group Outcomes Indicator Set. The Health and Social Care Information Centre hosts the Indicator Assurance Service which quality assures the construction of health indicators. The Assurance service is used to quality assure all new indicators put forward for inclusion in both the NHS Outcomes Framework and Clinical Commissioning Group Outcomes Indicator Set. The Service has also assured other indicators, not included in established Frameworks, such as the Summary Hospital-level Mortality Indicator, Patient Reported Outcome Measures and Accident and Emergency care quality indicators. Indicators are assured via a collaborative process that draws upon the expertise of colleagues from a broad range of health and social care organisations. To date there have been 231 indicators put forward for appraisal by the Indicator Assurance Service, of which 106 have been assured as being suitable for inclusion in the Library of Quality Assured Indicators. A further 68 indicators are in the process of being appraised under the assurance process. Once approved, the indicators are included in the national Library of Quality Assured Indicators.

The Health and Social Care Information Centre is working with its national partners in the National Information Board, which has responsibilities relating to health and care information standards and technologies. This collaborative work is ongoing to develop a new informatics strategy, and will use that to set out its proposals for ensuring more systematic use of the indicator assurance function. The service is already available to commercial intermediaries and public sector organisations, but is not yet mandatory. The Health and Social Care Information Centre will therefore need to explore the use of levers and incentives that could be applied so that the service can be used without impeding the development of the commercial analytics market.