Accessing data for quality improvement                                                   

The specialty of haematology has a strong history of quality monitoring and improvement. As a result, there is a wealth of information that may be used to benchmark, in addition to standards used as drivers to improve practice.

The national registries for haemophilia and haemoglobinopathies provide platforms for clinical data collation and quality improvement. There are also active registries in other areas, including:

There are specialty specific national targets for most areas of haematology. For malignant haematology there are a large number of cancer standards and chemotherapy standards (opens PDF, 667.17KB) against which trusts are peer reviewed at least annually. Cancer waiting times are presented nationally.

Commissioning remains a key driver to improve quality of care, with both specialist and local CQUINs relating to haematology. These have historically included a VTE Prevention CQUIN (which has now been retired into the standard NHS contract), but also CQUINs to haemoglobinopathy networks and transfusion, haemophilia networks, and chemotherapy prescribing.

Audit remains a major focus of haematology practice and each unit will have an audit lead. These audit programmes often link into national activity, such as the National Comparative Blood Transfusion Audit, as well as the Royal College of Pathologists’ audit evaluation process.