NHS performance monitoring system available to all sectors

The NHS’s new web-based occupational health clinical governance system is to be offered free to all OH teams, whether inside or outside the NHS.

The Management of Health at Work Knowledge (MoHaWK) system, launched in April 2012, was predominantly introduced across occupational health units in the NHS, in the hope that the health service could “road test” the new system.

But the second round of testing, officially launched in August, has been designed so that all OH units, irrespective of the sector in which they work, can benchmark performance with other units using a range of evidence-based indicators.

Occupational Health columnist and physician Dr Richard Preece, who helped to develop the system, said: “The early adopter units reported data in round one from almost 4,000 management referrals and almost 9,000 immunisations in April. A high proportion reviewed patients within 10 days of referrals and issued reports within two working days.

“As expected though, there were variations in performance, with some units seeing all patients within 10 days and others seeing about 30% in the same period. There may be many reasons for these variations, ranging from differences in contractual targets, to differences in resources, to local priorities,” he added.

But the advantage of MoHaWK is that it allows units to see their own performance in comparison with the anonymised results from all other units.

“The results provide some very positive feedback for occupational health. For example, 98% of patients reported a high level of satisfaction with their OH support, and two-thirds of patients absent from work for more than four weeks were offered adjustments to help them resume work,” said Preece.

Units provided data on 34 workers who had suffered a needlestick injury with a high risk of HIV exposure. This is the first time a concerted effort had been made to gather such data systematically.

“Only two-thirds of these ‘at risk’ workers definitely received post-exposure prophylaxis. It is already becoming clear that this may be a data collection issue because workers were treated elsewhere (for example, A&E units). However, even this very early data from round one suggests that better systems might be needed to confirm workers are treated in a timely way,” said Preece.

MoHaWK will have two data reporting months each year: March and September.

Units wanting to register can do so by visiting the home page.

However, practitioners should also be aware that MoHaWK is designed for units and teams and not individual practitioners.

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