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New place data collection software for NHS

24 May 2013

fmfirst® survey has been developed by Asckey Data Services which will support trusts and patient assessors by simplifying the new Patient Led Assessment of the Care Environment (PLACE) data collection process

Asckey Data Services to support trusts and patient assessors by simplifying the new Patient Led Assessment of the Care Environment (PLACE) data collection process. Replacing the former Patient Environment Action Team (PEAT) inspections as the new system for assessing the quality of the patient environment, PLACE collections are up to ten times the size of PEAT.

The introduction of PLACE collections from April 2013 signalled a cultural shift in NHS regulatory practice. PLACE supports active patient contribution and open public accountability through an increased level of assessment criteria. This increased data collection however imposes an increase in workload and this has been the chief consideration in the development of a new PLACE mobile data collection software programme.

'fmfirst survey' functionality has been designed to reduce data collection times and unnecessary paperwork. A number of responses can be answered using a range of drop down menus which can be used to auto fill response criteria. Using auto fill greatly improves data collection efficiency and accuracy and standardised responses also allow for easier cross-referencing for data consistency and improved reporting accuracy.

All assessments can be recorded directly at the assessment site, providing a one point data entry process that reduces data input error and duplication. The emphasis is on fast and efficient data collection without compromising on accuracy. Eliminating paperwork, mobile data collections enhance security with all data being accessed and stored centrally.

'fmfirst survey' is compatible with all mobile and tablet device formats. Each site can access its own unique data set, download appropriate scorecards and enter outcomes directly while at the assessment location. Data can be saved on the mobile device at any point and uploaded to the main application upon completion. Functionality can be used with or without a wireless connection. Should an assessment point be out of wireless range, data can be stored and uploaded later when a network is available. To protect data security, all sites are issued with a secure, site specific log-on to enable data access at all site locations for full flexibility with access across all locations.

Bernard Hill, Asckey's Commercial Director stated: "The introduction of PLACE has been a significant step forward in the implementation of patient centred care pathways. 'fmfirst® survey' provides trusts and patient representatives with an efficient means of recording a clear message about how the environment or services might be enhanced".

PLACE assessments will consider areas such as cleanliness; safety and privacy; dignity and well-being; food and general building maintenance. 'fmfirst survey' mirrors the main assessment criteria to enable clear reporting of assessment outcomes.

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