Year 1 Deadline

We are now only one week away from the extended 26 January 2015 deadline by which all Year 1 cases for the Patient Audit need to be locked.

The audit's Project Team would once again like to encourage you to take the next few days to review your hospital's cases on the NELA web tool. If there are any cases that have been entered during Year 1 of the audit for which complete patient information is now available you are strongly encouraged to complete and lock them so that these patients can be included in the first Patient Report.

As of this morning there are still around 380 cases on the system that despite being 100% complete remain unlocked. This means that if the Project Team were to export the Year 1 patient information at this time these cases would not be included in the first year's Patient Audit, despite the complete set of patient information. Remember that locking a case takes only the click of a button and is crucial to ensuring that your hospital's cases are included in the audit.
In order to assist hospitals in identifying these cases we have put together and attached a spreadsheet which lists the Case ID numbers for these 380 cases, broken down by hospital. At this time there are over 80 participating sites on this list with at least one complete case that remains unlocked; please take a moment to review this spreadsheet and see if your hospital is on this list. If so, the spreadsheet should allow you to identify and lock your complete cases prior to the 26 January deadline.

Long stay patients
One of the more highly discussed topics amongst the Project Team is how to address the long stay patient who despite being operated on during Year 1 of the audit have not yet been discharged, making it impossible for the cases to be completed and locked. While it was first thought the best option would be to include these cases in Year 2 of the Patient Audit, it was agreed that this would be unfair on the hospital staff performing the data entry as it would require them to monitor a patient's status indefinitely until the case could finally be completed.
We have therefore decided to set a 60 day post-operative cut-off point for the patient to be discharged. If a patient has yet to leave hospital within 60 days of the surgical procedure which is included in the audit, the case can be completed and locked. The date the case is being locked can be used as the discharge date and 'Status at Discharge' being recorded as 'Alive'.

We very much hope that this will help in reducing some of the data collection burden and allow you to contribute even more cases towards Year 1 of the audit. Please have a look through your hospital's cases; if there are any patients who were operated on over 60 days ago (so prior to the 22nd of November) and who have yet to be discharged please feel free to now lock these cases and enter today's date as the 'date of discharge'.

As always should you have any questions at all regarding the upcoming Year 1 deadline or the audit as a whole please do not hesitate to let us know. We would once again like to express our deepest thanks to you and your colleagues for your incredible hard work this past year. The Project Team is incredibly pleased with the case ascertainment figures for the first year of the audit and we are fully aware that this is down to the commitment shown to the audit by you, the local hospital leads, and your co-workers performing the data entry.