Making Community Rehabilitation Data Count

People with complex disabilities in the UK may get better community rehabilitation following the publication of a report from the Community Rehabilitation Alliance (CRA) at the end of 2022.

The Community Rehabilitation Alliance, led by the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy, is urging a redesign of how patient data is collected across England in order to improve rehabilitation services, which help people manage their medical conditions and live more independently. 

According to the findings of the study, Making Community Rehabilitation Data Count, community rehabilitation organisations need access to service level data for a number of different reasons, some of which include clinical delivery, research, quality improvement, benchmarking, highlighting best practices, developing business cases, and workforce management.

The CRA brings together more than 50 charities, trade unions, and professional bodies from across England to increase access to high-quality, person-centred rehabilitation. This study looked at the challenges and opportunities of using data for service commissioning, service improvement, and community rehabilitation. Researchers examined current data collection practises and requirements to determine what should comprise a standard, universal data collection framework.

Principal conclusions drawn from the CRA report

45% of the people who filled out the survey said that the current ways to collect and send in data are inefficient. These respondents also said that they entered the same information into databases more than once.

It is not currently possible to reliably collect or store data in a centralised location. Due to this, it is exceedingly difficult for services to gain access to data and make use of it to compare and enhance the rehabilitation services they provide.

The fact that less than half of the organisations that submit data to databases always receive data analysis reduces the value of the data for many community rehabilitation organisations, services, and clinicians. The percentage of organisations that always receive data analysis is currently lower than 45%.

There is a broad consensus among experts regarding the components that should be included in a "ideal core dataset" for community rehabilitation.

The CRA is of the opinion that consolidating the gathering of patient data will result in a significant improvement of under-resourced, over-subscribed acute, specialised, and community rehabilitation services while also reducing inequalities in healthcare.

On the website you can read and download the full report - Making Community Rehabilitation Data Count. 

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