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Case Studies

The relevance of manual patient data entry

At Edgecumbe Doctor 360 we realise the importance of checking the quality of the content of patient feedback questionnaires returned to us by doctors, before it is used to create a report for appraisal and/or revalidation.

We firstly insist that whoever distributes the questionnaires signs and returns a declaration form to confirm that the process was carried out in an ethical and unbiased way. Additionally, unlike many 360 feedback suppliers, we choose not to use technology-based scanning methods for entering the patient feedback data returned to us; all of the data is checked and entered by hand. We favour this method for several reasons:


1. Technology may not detect and therefore remove offensive words or comments

2. Technology may not detect or remove words or comments that reveal the identity of the patient or anyone other than the doctor for whom they are completing feedback

3. Technology will not detect any patterns in handwriting or comments given, which may otherwise lead to further investigation of the legitimacy of the data returned


On point 3, we maintain a strict 'Edgecumbe Doctor 360® Patient Data Verification' policy for quality assurance of all patient data returned to us:

Edgecumbe Doctor 360 will adhere to the GMC’s policy of patient safety and care* by requiring authorisation from the doctor’s 360 Administrator/RO before proceeding to process patient questionnaires returned displaying a specific number of a set list of features we refer to, including identical handwriting and repeated distinct words or phrases across the questionnaires submitted.


This policy proved its importance in the process when our Health Services Manager was called to be a witness at the GMC court hearing of a doctor who was found to have forged their own patient feedback forms. Due to our proactive approach of alerting the doctor’s Trust of the content of the forms in 2015, followed by our ongoing cooperation with the GMC on the matter, the doctor was brought into question by the GMC in 2017. Although not deemed a risk to patient safety, the tribunal determined that the doctor’s fitness to practise was impaired and the outcome was to suspend the doctor for a period of 2 months. This case would not have been brought to light had the doctor’s patient questionnaires been processed by a machine.
 
 * GMC Guidance on raising concern with regard to patient safety and care: http://www.gmcuk.org/guidance/ethical_guidance/11864.asp 

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