NELA eNewsletter - 7th Edition March 2014

National Emergency Laparotomy Audit

Patient Data Collection

We are now nine weeks into the patient data collection period and have been incredibly impressed by results thus far. The rate of cases being entered and locked has continued to increase throughout the last two months and it's clear that NELA web tool users are becoming increasingly comfortable collecting the patient information required for each case and navigating the web tool system. The NELA Project Team would like to take this opportunity to express its deepest thanks to all hospital staff who have made the audit a success up until now and we encourage you to keep up the excellent work.

As of this morning we have had:

  • Over 1700 users log into the web tool since its launch
  • 3300 cases created
  • 662 cases locked

In the coming months we will be making a list of each hospital's progress and participation in the audit publically available on the NELA website. This is so that hospitals can compare how well they're doing in collecting and entering data onto the web tool with other sites taking part in NELA.

Data Collection Period and HQIP

As a reminder to everyone participating in the audit we would like to reiterate that the Patient Data Collection period will be for two years until November 2015, with the possibility of the collection period being extended into 2016. The Healthcare Quality Improvement Partnership (HQIP) who commissioned the National Emergency Laparotomy Audit recently published their revised 'Statutory and Mandatory Requirements for the Clinical Audit' which can be found here.

Completing and Locking Cases on the Web Tool

We would like to stress of importance of making sure all patient information is entered for each case. Any case that remains incomplete on the web tool will ultimately not be illegible for inclusion in the patient audit report and we believe it's imperative that the final report be comprised of as many cases that meet the inclusion criteria as possible. One tool we strongly recommend you utilise is the 'colour key' on the right hand side of the Proforma screen. This allows you to quickly identify which cases still have sections that are unsaved or incomplete to ensure that any missing information is entered as quickly as possible.

Several hospitals' Local Administrators have contacted the NELA team to address the issue of having to wait to complete Section 7 of the web tool for information such as discharge date to become available. We completely understand that for certain cases Section 7 will have to remain incomplete for several weeks before the all the information can be filled out and the case completed. We have added a 'Not available at time of discharge' option for the answer to question 7.6 relating to Histology as a way of simplifying Section 7 for certain cases.

Once a case has been 100% completed and you are confident that no additional changes are required please be sure to lock it! Locking cases allows hospitals to export patient information to a spreadsheet for internal use to assist with quality improvement. To lock a case simply click the 'Lock' button located directly above the Proforma questions and when a box appears asking you to confirm select 'OK'.

Useful Tools Data Entry on NELA Website

  • Frequently Asked Questions - Constantly updated FAQs reflect the most common and recent queries we receive from hospital staff and web tool users
  • Help Box Text - Provides additional assistance for filling in each of the data collection questions and can also be found on the web tool by clicking on the 'H' button to the right of every question
  • Proforma - A PDF copy of Proforma, the online data collection questionnaire, that can be printed and filled out with patient information in real time, making it then easier to transfer all the information onto the online web tool
  • Updated Inclusion & Exclusion Criteria
  • NELA Poster & Leaflet - To publicise the audit amongst staff and patients in the hospital
  • OPCS Labels - For procedure items in the NELA dataset
  • Process Outcome Measures
  • Organisational Audit Link to Standards

Coming Soon - NELA Patient Audit Top Tips

In the last week we have been in contact with some of the top performing sites to find out what's made the patient audit successful so far. We have already received multiple responses detailing the system that's been put in place at each hospital to ensure that every qualifying case is entered onto the web tool and the information is completed. We will be using this information to put together a list of Top Tips which will include specific tools that have proven to be successful at participating hospitals and recommendations for making the data collection process more efficient at your site. Look out for further information regarding the Top Tips list in the coming weeks.

Organisational Audit

The National Emergency Laparotomy Organisational Audit Report is now in its final stages of completion and is due to be published on the 14th of May 2014. The report will be made available for participating sites to download directly from the NELA website. The NELA Clinical Lead, Dr Dave Murray, will be presenting on the findings of the Organisational Report at the Royal College of Anaesthetists' Annual Congress in Cardiff on the 16th of May.

Sign up to receive the NELA newsletter

The NELA project team will be regularly publishing a newsletter informing those interested and/or participating in the audit on the latest developments.
You can sign up to receive the newsletter for regular updates here.

NELA Twitter

The National Emergency Lapaorotmy Audit has launched its own twitter account. This will provide updates, news and links to important information on the NELA website. You can follow us @NELANews

Key dates

  • Complete: Organisational audit
  • Jan 2014: 1st year of data collection for patient audit commenced
  • May 2014: 1st Report published (organisational audit)
  • Dec 2014: 2nd year of data collection for patient audit commences
  • July 2015: 2nd Report Published (1st patient audit)

Contact info

If you have any questions or would like to contact the project team email -