Data quality team

Summary

The ability of data to improve health and care relies on its quality. Our Data Quality team assesses the quality of data submitted by providers.

We summarise findings within the Data Quality Maturity Index (DQMI) and report findings on a quarterly basis. 

If poor data quality is identified by the DQMI, our team work with providers to encourage greater attention to data collection and submission. 

A data quality steering group, made up of 5 arm's length bodies, meets regularly to discuss changes to the way data quality is measured, and investigates ways to improve data quality throughout the system. The arm's length bodies are:

Analyse and interpret

Our team assesses the quality of data submitted by providers using four metrics:

  • coverage
  • completeness
  • validity
  • use of default values

The definition and calculation of these metrics can be found within the Data Quality Assurance Policy. Other metrics to help assess data quality are being considered by the data quality steering group with a focus on timeliness and consistency. 

Commissioning Data Sets (CDS) are linked directly to payment, so providers have an increased incentive to submit higher quality data, leading to a better average quality for secondary care data.

Some of the latest data sets, however, need their quality assessed by members of our team. This is often due to the complexity of their design, and the limited time providers have had to improve their front-end collection systems and reporting processes. 

Processes to interpret the quality of data sets are automated for some, for example CDS that have been in place for some time. 

Distribute

Our team assesses the quality of data submitted by providers and summarises findings in the Data Quality Maturity Index (DQMI). 

We publish Data Quality Maturity Reports quarterly in different formats, including CSV and Power BI.

Separate DQMI reports are sent to providers for each of the 8 data sets to allow comparison. 

Data Quality Reports are part of regular publications.

Change

Improving the quality of data collected leads to improvements in health and care services and better outcomes for patients. 

We flag poor DQMI to hospital trusts which often leads to improvement. If this is not successful, the concern is escalated to a more senior recipient.

Our Corporate Data Quality team offer help to providers to improve data quality. This is often flagged when a data set is submitted that is significantly different to previous submissions for that provider. This may be explained by a change in service provision or service responsibilities. 

Staff within data set teams carry out most of the work to liaise with providers. We are using the Customer Relationship Management system (CRM) to record contact with providers about data quality, to give a broader picture of data quality issues across the system.