Scotland pilots new information system on patient outcomes

BMJ 2002; 325 doi: (Published 27 July 2002) Cite this as: BMJ 2002;325:180
  1. Bryan Christie
  1. Edinburgh

    A system that feeds back information to hospital doctors about the outcomes for each of their patients is to be introduced across Scotland over the next two to three years.

    A trial of the system, known as eSCRIPS, started last month. Designed to provide doctors with readily available information to help them monitor performance, it is part of a continuing drive to provide hospitals, clinicians, and the public with information on outcomes in the Scottish health service.

    Scotland has led the way in the United Kingdom in publishing data on performance outcomes. The ninth and latest report from the Clinical Outcomes Working Group shows that death rates after a range of elective surgical procedures have fallen at a time when the total number of procedures has increased.

    The report shows that readmission rates after discharge are higher in medical than in surgical specialties, which may reflect the increase in emergency admissions of patients with chronic conditions. Deaths related to alcohol have more than doubled, and Scotland has one of the highest incidences and poorest survival rates in Europe for lung cancer. On a more positive note, survival after heart attacks is improving.

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