Wednesday, 5 June 2013

Irish Hospital Mortality Index (IHMI) to be implemented - Under the new system, patient outcomes will be assessed based on the condition they were treated for, and the expected number of deaths for each hospital for each condition according to set norms will be compared to the actual number of deaths recorded.
The specific purpose of comparative hospital mortality patterns is to enable hospitals to use the data generated to prioritise areas for review and potential improvements so that the best outcomes are achieved.
The HSE intends that this data will be made publicly available once the system has been fully developed and its accuracy assured, allowing a period of time for the HSE to work with hospitals to ensure accuracy of data generated.  In order to arrive at accurate comparative mortality rates between institutions, confounding factors that might explain variations in death rates would first be taken into account.
These would include age of patients, medical card status, patient numbers, and whether patients had other conditions along with the condition being treated.
Meanwhile, a separate national audit of mortality following surgical procedures is expected to get underway by the end of this year.  The Irish Audit of Surgical Mortality will involve surgeons reviewing the outcomes of procedures undertaken by their colleagues.
It is not planned at this stage to make any data on hospitals' surgery performance publicly available under the surgery audit. The audit will, however, be able to identify poor performance among individual surgeons or units so that remedial or regulatory action can be taken where necessary.
The surgery audit is being run by the National Office of Clinical Audit at the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, in cooperation with the HSE.
Social Workers Register with CORU  (CORU is Ireland’s first multi profession health regulator) - Last Friday over 2,300 of the State’s 2,500 Social workers registered with CORU the body designated with the regulation of health and social care professions.  The new arrangements for Social Workers are the first step towards regulating 12 professions along the lines of similar systems in place for medicine and nursing.  Professions covered by the Health and Social Care Professionals Act 2005 include; Clinical Biochemists, Dieticians, Medical Scientists, Occupational Therapists, Orothoptists, Physiotherapists, Podiatrists, Psychologists and Speech and Language Therapists. 

Stress Levels – The parents of children with autism have higher stress levels than parents of children without autism, or children who have other disabilities. That is according to preliminary data from a study by NUI Galway’s Irish Centre for Autism and Neurodevelopmental Research (ICAN).
The research indicates cutbacks in services are having a real and measurable effect on parents’ wellbeing, as well as highlighting stress levels among parents of children with autism. The study shows that levels of stress among parents of children with autism are higher when those families have less access to services. Dr Geraldine Leader, Director of ICAN at NUI Galway, explained: “Our research is highlighting the negative impacts that cutbacks and inadequate service provision may have, not only on child outcomes, but also on the health and wellbeing of the parents.”

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