NELA eNewsletter - 14th Edition November 2014

National Emergency Laparotomy Audit

Patient Data Collection

We are now less than a week away from the end of the first year of the NELA Patient Audit and the commencement of Year 2 of the audit, we would like to once again reiterate the importance of completing and locking all cases on the web tool that were entered during the first year of the audit. The first patient report will focus on procedures that took place from the beginning of the patient audit until the last day of November and we are giving hospitals until the 14th of January 2015 to ensure that all these cases are locked and exportable by the Project Team.

For the national report we will be producing comparative hospital data on case ascertainment rates. Cases will only be considered completed if they have been entered and locked. Any unlocked cases will adversely affect the case ascertainment rate reported for your hospital. For instance, if you have entered all the cases, but 20% of them are unlocked, your hospital will only be able to show a maximum of 80% case ascertainment. It is therefore imperative that all cases on the web tool for procedures that took place prior to the 1st of December 2014 are locked by the 14th of January 2015 deadline.

Please keep in mind that NELA is on ongoing audit and that the data collection process continues as usual come December. The current NELA timeline is as follows:

  • Year 1 ends 30th November 2014
  • Year 2 begins 1st December 2014

While we are very pleased with the rate at which cases have been locked over the last few weeks there are still over 5,800 cases on the web tool that remain unlocked. Please therefore ensure that over the next month and a half you go through your hospital's NELA caseload and complete and lock all cases for which complete patient information is available.

Year 2 Changes to the Dataset

Following feedback received from a number of local audit participants the NELA Project Team have decided to perform some minor changes to the NELA Dataset and the patient information being collected on the web tool for admissions from 1st December 2014 going forward. These changes will appear automatically on the web tool from 1st December 2014. These changes were made to reduce data burden and increase accuracy of hard earned data.
These include some changes in wording to several questions - If you use the paper Proforma to collect your data please update it by printing out the new versions from the 'Support' menu of the web tool or on the Documents page on our website here.

To find out further information on exactly what changes have been made please find see our latest FAQs under the 'Support' tab on the web tool or visit the Year 2 dataset changes page that we have set up that can be found here.

The Export Key available from the 'Support' menu on the web tool will also be updated for Year 2 of the audit on 1st of December. This now includes the new questions that will go live on the web tool for admissions from 1st December 2014.

NELA Outlier Policy

The NELA Project Team has just published the Patient Audit Outlier Policy. The policy sets out the process by which participating hospital performance will be assessed and the process the NELA Project Team will follow to manage any hospital that are found to fall outside the expected range of performance and therefore flagged as an outlier.

The Outlier Policy can be found under the Documents page of the NELA website here.

Patient Recorded Outcome Measures (PROMs) Research Conference

Last week's PROMs Research Conference, part of the King's Fund, focused on how we can get more value from the large amount of data that is collected. A link to the presentations given at the conference can be found here.

Upcoming Events Featuring NELA Speakers

The following events will also feature members of the NELA Project Team speaking about and answering questions on the audit:

  • Royal College of Anaesthetists (RCoA) Recent Advances in Anaesthesia, Critical Care and Pain Management
    2-4 December 2014, Manchester
    Dave Murray (Clinical Lead) Speaking

  • Intensive Care Society State of the Art Meeting
    8-10 December 2014, London
    Mike Grocott (NELA Chair) Speaking

  • College of Anaesthetics in Ireland (CAI) National Audit Day
    11 December 2014, Dublin
    Matt Oliver (Research Fellow) Speaking

Additional Useful Tools on NELA Website

  • Organisational Audit Action Plan - Provides an action plan to assist hospital sites in ensuring they are meeting all recommendations laid out in the NELA Organisational Report
  • Set of Slides - A PowerPoint presentation focusing on the key findings of the NELA Organisational Report and how the report strongly emphasises the need for patient data to be collected and analysed
  • Top Tips - List compiled of some of the most useful and effective advice that was sent into us by a number of the top performing NELA sites
  • 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 the latest 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

Certificate of Participation

To receive your copy of the NELA Certificate of Participation please contact your hospital's Local Administrator to request that a certificate be issued for you.

Organisational Audit Report

To download a copy of the full NELA Organisational Report as well as the Executive Summary please click here.

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.

If you would like to receive the newsletter for regular updates please sign up to the mailing list here.

NELA Twitter

The National Emergency Laparotomy 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: Organisational Audit Report published
  • 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 -