Background The importance of hospices being able to provide evidence of their impact and improve the outcomes of patient care is vital. In collaboration with several hospices, we have developed a ‘simple’ suite of 12 Leading Indicators, covering all aspects of a hospice, which we would like to share with all hospices across the UK.
Aims The 12 Leading Indicators aim to demonstrate what is going well and what’s not going so well and can be used by patients and their families, clinicians, support staff, managers, trustees and commissioners, and as a way of benchmarking hospices - regardless of their size or location. The indicators are purposefully ‘simple’, attempting to reduce the burden of regular, detailed reporting but rather to concentrate efforts on any areas of concern and to share excellence with other hospices in the way of learning and collaboration.
Method The indicators look at all aspects of hospices, with separate measures for reach, safety, responsiveness, effectiveness, activity, efficiency, expenditure, feedback, planning, people, fundraising and impact. Targets can be set and adjusted for each indicator, at the discretion of the individual hospice and/or nationally, to guide and improve hospice care across the UK. The indicators are very visual and can be viewed and understood at a glance; and can be easily presented on the Internet and Extranet or Intranet.
It is envisaged that the indicators will be available to all in near real-time, which will promote transparency, discussions, and suggestions for improvement.
Conclusion The 12 Leading Indicators will provide hospices with a means to convey a powerful message in terms of the impact they make and the critical role they play for the wider health and social care system. They are ‘simple’ by nature but have the potential to become a national standard for hospices to demonstrate and prove their value moving forward.
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