NELA eNewsletter - 20th Edition May 2015

National Emergency Laparotomy Audit

Patient Data Collection

We would once again like to remind users that the NELA Patient Audit is ongoing and that Year 2 of the data collection period is currently taking place. While we are incredibly pleased with the work performed by the majority of participating sites since the beginning of the Patient Audit's second year, we've found that there are a number of sites whose case ascertainment figures have dropped since the turn of the year. The graph below shows the number of cases entered for the audit over the last six months based on date of patient admission:


As you can see there has been a noticeable drop in cases entered for patient admitted after March 2015. We understand that a significant number of cases are entered onto the system retrospectively and we hope to see the April and May figures increase in the next few weeks. If you feel however that your hospital may be one of the sites whose case ascertainment rates have fallen recently we strongly urge you to review your data collection and entry processes to see if there are any ways in which they can be improved to ensure that all qualifying cases are making their way onto the system.

Should you wish to see how your case ascertainment compares to that of your fellow NELA participants please contact your hospital's NELA Local Administrator for a copy of the broken down Hospital Progress List which is sent out to all audit leads at the beginning of each month.

Export Function

As always we would like to encourage web tool users to take advantage of the system's Export function which allows you to transfer the data from all your hospital's cases onto an Excel spreadsheet. From there the data can be analysed much more easily and you have all of Excel's tools at your disposal should you wish to display the data in any sort of graph format. We've heard from a number of sites that the Export function has proven to be a valuable tool in motiving audit participants to complete patient cases knowing that it will assist immeasurably in analysing the key process measures that the hospital has identified for review.

If you find that you don't have access to the Export function when logged into the web tool please get in touch with your hospital's NELA Local Administrator to request that your account be granted Reporter Privileges, or simply contact the NELA helpdesk directly.

Web Tool Dashboard

We hope that in the last two months since its launch you've had the opportunity to look through the various sections of the NELA web tool Dashboard and you've been able to take advantage of the way it feeds back your local data compared to that of your fellow audit participants. Remember that the Dashboard is a constantly developing section of the web tool, with new functions being planned out for it constantly.

In the last few weeks we've updated the Dashboard so that national audit results are now viewable to users even when they're not logged into the web tool. This means that anyone visiting the web tool can see national Case Ascertainment and Patient Demographics info which is updated in real time. Remember all graphs and tables on the Dashboard can be saved as image files, so please feel free to incorporate data from the Dashboard into any reports or presentations you may be preparing for your hospital.

2015 Events Featuring NELA Speakers

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

Evidence Based Peri-Operative Medicine (EBPOM) Annual Congress
29 June - 3July 2015, London
Dave Murray (Clinical Lead) and Carol Peden (Quality Improvement Lead) Speaking

Association of Anaesthetists of Great Britain and Ireland (AAGBI) Annual Congress
22-25 September 2015, Edinburgh
Dave Murray (Clinical Lead) Speaking

Association of Anaesthetists of Great Britain and Ireland (AAGBI) Core Topics Conference
8 October 2015, Leicester
Emma Davies (Surgical Research Fellow) Speaking

Royal College of Anaesthetists (RCoA) Recent Advances in Anaesthesia, Critical Care and Pain Management
2-4 December 2015, Birmingham
Mike Grocott (NELA Chair) Speaking

Additional Useful Tools on NELA Website

Participant Manual - A compilation of all useful NELA background information and documents, the perfect introductory tool for a hospital user new to the audit
Audit Protocol Document - Provides an outline on the structure of the audit, as well as all professional stakeholders involved
Outlier 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 is found to fall outside the expected range of performance and therefore flagged as an outlier
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 -