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Safety Informatics

This theme builds on internationally leading work we carried out between 2012 and 2017 to compute information about care safety from the data GPs collect routinely, and to automatically suggest actions that might improve care.

Informatics for safer care requires not only data and computing technologies, but also understanding of the behaviours of patients and practitioners in response to different forms of information – creating actionable information. This is information that identifies not only what the safety issues are, but also how to overcome them.

Understanding the real-world contexts in which safety issues arise and the resources available to take corrective actions is essential to improving care.

For example, in relation to delayed diagnosis, failure of co-ordination of care and medication errors, problems often occur where two or more organisations or care providers are needed but don't connect reliably.

This theme uses the linked data environment of Greater Manchester's health and social care devolution, including the DataWell integrated data system and the wider civic data linkage known as GM Connect.

The linked data are used to create a rich picture of safety and how the inter-dependent parts of the care system can learn from continuous feedback of actionable information to practitioners, patients and planners – a so-called learning healthcare system.

The Greater Manchester initiative links to pilots in four other English city regions in the Department of Health and Social Care's Connected Health Cities programme.

Specific projects will focus on:

  • reducing diagnostic errors;
  • enabling automated monitoring of late treatment effects in cancer survivors (partnership with CRUK and the Christie Hospital);
  • prevention of pulmonary complications after surgery (partnership with Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust);
  • more timely and accurate computer-assisted monitoring of lab test results by patients and clinicians together;
  • developing and testing new theory in medication safety computerised audit and feedback by using/extending the award-winning platform built in between 2012 and 2017.

Theme lead

Key staff

Affiliated staff

  • Professor Rachel Elliott
  • Dr Lamiece Hassan

PSTRC PhD Fellow

  • Richard Dodd

Christie/PSTRC PhD Fellow

  • Salina Tsui