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New digital tools to support data quality in health and social care

The HIQA Health Information Team is launching two digital learning modules today to support health and social care professionals and organisations to improve the quality of the data they collect.

The modules aim to support the sector in implementing HIQA’s Guidance on a data quality framework for health and social care and to highlight the importance of quality data and information for all health and social care professionals and organisations.

Dr Barbara Foley, Health Information Quality Manager, said: “Accurate, relevant and timely data is essential in order to deliver services and improve health and social care. Data is used to inform decision-making, monitor diseases, organise services, support policy-making, conduct quality research, and plan for future health and social care needs.

“We are currently undertaking a structured review programme to improve information management practices for national data collections in Ireland. One of the key findings of this programme has been the need to support organisations in addressing and improving data quality. To support this, we have developed guidance on a data quality framework and worked in partnership with stakeholders to develop digital learning tools to build awareness and improve knowledge and expertise in this area.”

The first module — ‘Introduction to data quality’ — is a short course aimed at all health and social care professionals that introduces the concept of data and information quality, and highlights the importance of collecting and using quality data and information to provide safe and effective health and social care services. Learners will hear from a clinician, Dr Robert Cunney from Temple Street Hospital, and a patient advocate, Aoife Kirwan from MS Ireland, about the importance of data quality in care provision.

The second module— ‘Developing a data quality framework within health and social care’ — is a more detailed learning tool aimed at organisations with a remit to collect, process, use or interpret data or information, and professionals with responsibility for ensuring the quality of that data or information.

This module details the steps that organisations can take to develop a data quality framework to support them in assessing and improving the quality of their data and information.

Two organisations, the National Office of Clinical Audit (NOCA) and the Hospital In-Patient Enquiry team within the Healthcare Pricing Office (HPO), speak about their experiences of implementing a data quality framework within this second module.

The modules can be accessed here. Watch HIQA's video to find out why data quality is important.

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