In the first in our series of e-bulletin interviews we talked to Andy Winter, Resuscitation Officer at Northampton General Hospital. We asked Andy about his experience of being involved in NCAA…
How long have you been working on NCAA?
I’ve worked on NCAA since it started back in 2009 when I was working at Chelsea and Westminster Hospital. But I’ve been more actively involved since October 2013 when I joined Northampton General Hospital.
What do you find most useful about being part of the audit?
It’s good to see where we stand in relation to other hospitals across the country. It is also good to be able to review and compare specific hospital areas. It allows us to share the data with the different areas of the hospital and discuss the results with them.
Who do you share your NCAA reports with?
Mainly the resuscitation team and the resuscitation lead. We have also recently started incorporating the graphs from the NCAA reports into the hospital quarterly reports which are shared widely across the hospital; including with the governance leads; medical leads; and Trust Chief Executive.
Have you had any data collection challenges?
We used to find it very difficult to collect CPC; it involved a lot of follow-up to get the information and when you have say 30 records to input, the follow-up can be very time consuming. The introduction of EDM (Electronic Discharge Notes) has been life changing. The online system allows you to look up the patient by NHS number. It lists patient activity in a very general way to allow you to compare against the CPC categories and infer a CPC score. This is so much quicker so going digital has made a big difference.
Another challenge has been collecting data on pre-hospital arrests. Our A&E staff are very good at getting lots of information. However we find it difficult to collect the pre-hospital resuscitation start time. Sometimes the Patient Record Forms (PRF) are hard to track down. We are moving to digital forms (EPRF) which allow us to look up patients; but the relevant information isn’t always on there. We can often estimate the start time based on the notes; perhaps NCAA could add a new field that allows you to say whether or not the resuscitation times have been estimated?
What tips would you offer to new NCAA participants?
- Practice makes perfect.
- Think about the questions that NCAA is likely to ask in the validation process and make notes that will help you answer these.
- Try to keep time blocked out for your data entry and validation – I say that but I don’t always do it! I try to but often something urgent crops up in the time I’ve set aside.
- When dealing with lots of similar validation queries that require the same response: copy and paste the response from a Word document rather than writing out each time.
- Use straightforward language in your explanations and don’t assume the NCAA Case Officer will understand your abbreviations/acronyms.
And finally…what did you think of Star Wars: The Force Awakens?
(I had to ask this - Andy is a massive Star Wars fan)
Absolutely loved it! It did not disappoint.
A big thank you to Andy for taking the time to be interviewed! If you’d like to be interviewed for our e-bulletin please get in touch: firstname.lastname@example.org