AMaT case studies
Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust study confirms that AMaT improves reporting and saves money
Angela Ward, the Clinical Audit and NICE manager for Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust, discusses the findings of a report she helped to produce reviewing the first year after the Trust deployed AMaT.
Seven months into using AMaT, and ahead of the decision to renew the annual license, Angela conducted a benefits realisation study with the aim of examining the new system’s impact.
"I started in Oxford Health on the same day we launched AMaT," says Angela. "The business case had been done for the pilot and I had to come in and launch it."
The result was a project which set out to measure the impact AMaT was having on clinical audit within the Trust. The results showed that although data collection had only commenced seven months before the study began, the turnaround was clear.
Angela's process included conducting a staff survey, looking at the number of registrations there had been in order to judge engagement, measuring the benefit of joining up audits across the Trust, and examining how streamlined the audit process had become under AMaT.
On the issue of engagement, 700 staff registered on AMaT, and 70% of those went on to become active users. Feedback was equally encouraging, with staff surveys reporting that AMaT was easier and quicker to use, and that the new system meant it was easy to access information and track progress.
The business realisation study also measured the benefits of standardising the approach to clinical audit across the entire organisation - an important goal in the Community Trust where sites were often physically separated.
AMaT helped us implement "joined up thinking"
"Our main issues," says Angela. "Were that audits were dealt with in isolation. There was no joined up thinking and NICE activity was disjointed - as was the monitoring of actions."
Because AMaT doesn't impose any limits to the number of audits or users, Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust created 52 live audits for regular data collection, standardising their reporting and improving data quality during the creation and build process
22 of these audits were linked across two or more directorates, bringing standardisation to tools which had historically been separate.
The study revealed savings both in terms of time and of resources. Oxford Health quantified the time freed based upon the cost of a Band 6 member of staff. Additionally, paper costs were saved from features in AMaT which include detailed insight dashboards and reporting.
Considerable savings in people’s time
"The previous system we had was quite clunky," says Angela. "You normally had to go through a third person, and it wasn’t easy to track or update."
Taking their IPC audit as an example, Oxford Health estimated that AMaT has saved them 3603 pages of paper and halved the amount of time it takes to report. This was further broken down to reveal savings directly linked to AMaT features such as:
- automated reminder emails
- real-time data analysis
- real-time reporting via dashboards and report generators.
In total, this represented a saving of over 259 hours of Band 6 time* – a number which equates to a minimum of £3,219 of net income.
In the Community Directorate, a time and motion study revealed high levels of engagement and additional savings.
- AMaT streamlined the notification of teams regarding audit schedules, reminders, chasing and checking submissions, as well as compiling reports, writing overviews and distributing reports.
- AMaT also saved time for the action planning process.
The total amount of time it took for these processes was reduced from 900 hours down to 120. This reduction equates to a minimum of £8,949.60 per year (again, calculated based on Band 6).
The Pharmacy team also benefitted from standardising the organisation’s approach to clinical audit. Generating a report on the system in place prior to AMaT could take 20 minutes compared with just 9 minutes on AMaT. This, in addition to annual license fee savings, meant the Pharmacy team were freeing up over 580 hours - a figure which would equate to a minimum of £8,000 per year.
Making data collection and reporting more efficient
One aspect of AMaT's 'whole organisation' approach to design means that actions are linked to the relevant data. Consequently, actions only need to be recorded in one place for all users, administrators and superusers to have access to them. After six months the organisation had 241 actions logged with AMaT. Judging the time these actions used to take to close or update via a previous system, the organisation identified a saving of 642.6 hours. This would equate to a minimum of £7,987 at the lowest Band 6 pay rate.
In all, the study showed that quicker data collection, standardisation of tools, higher engagement, reduced analysis time, and transparency had achieved a positive impact in a short space of time.
It is worth noting that at the time of compiling its report, the organisation had not made use of every AMaT module. Plans are in place to use AMaT to manage NICE guidance in the short term and then National audits, and potentially QI, all of which are included in the annual license.
There are wider implications for using AMaT which are more difficult to measure. Angela picked up on initiatives such as AMaT Academy - the new learning resource which saves time on training and support, and the Super User Group which is made up from members of all the UK organisations using AMaT.
"You've got this very democratic process for development," Angela points out. "You don’t see that in other companies that provide similar services or software."
AMaT currently has seven modules: Ward & Area Audit, Clinical Audit, Guidance, Inspections, Cumulative Audit, Quality Improvement, and Mortality and Morbidity Review. All of these come with the annual license. There are no limits on the number of audits an organisation can run or on the number of Trust users who can use AMaT.
By working with Trusts, and through ongoing development, AMaT sets the standard for clinical audit and quality improvement.
The results of a comprehensive study
In conclusion, after only seven months, and with a measured rollout of the system, the benefits v realisation study managed to identify minimum savings of around £28,155.
As a result of the study, and feedback from staff, Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust extended their AMaT annual license for a further 3 years to take advantage of additional multi-year license savings.
*The calculations for Band 6 pay are based on the lowest NET hourly rate of £12.43.
- Underpin quality improvement programmes from ward to board
- Prepare for and respond to Care Quality Commission inspection
- Provide a searchable, holistic view of organisation’s quality activity
- Measure quality progress over time
- Ensure actions are recorded and monitors progress
- System driven prompts
- Empower staff to be a driving force in quality improvement
- Improve and manage compliance with NICE standards
- Support national and local audits, service evaluations, and regular assurance audits across wards and services
- Provide simple access to supporting documentation
- Reduce reliance on paper chasing for audit progress
- Reduce issues arising from version control of emailed word documents
- Save money by providing a flexible platform for improvement activity
- Save time by providing activity reports across multiple departments
More AMaT case studies
An easy-to-use, robust clinical audit system built in collaboration with thirty-four clinical audit & improvement teams