DJ Beckett, M Spears, E Thomson
Journal Issue: 
Volume 48: Issue 2: 2018




The development of a novel database interrogating the patient management system in the Acute Medical Unit at Forth Valley Royal Hospital, Scotland, has allowed, for the first time, acquisition of reliable individual consultant-level process and outcome data over a 2-year period. These data have a number of uses, including understanding the level of variation between consultant physicians in AMU across key indicators, such as direct discharge percentage (67.5–44.3%), and readmission percentage (4.0–6.8%). Looking at overnight admissions only effectively excluded case mix as a confounder to identify variation in 30-day mortality (0–2.8%). This has allowed benchmarking, and exploring of relationships between volume of work, physician experience, and patient outcomes. For example, no significant relationship was seen between direct discharge percentage and readmission percentage. Furthermore it is extremely useful for individual clinician appraisal and governance. Finally it has practical uses when designing consultant rotas in order to minimise system variation. A key consideration throughout this work has been clear provenance and local clinical ownership of these data, unlike centrally generated data that may not accurately reflect Acute Medical Unit activity.