Outcome data key to clinical success

A consultant’s dashboard screen on My Clinical Outcomes

Circle group medical director and consultant orthopaedic surgeon Mr Peter James reports on joining forces with My Clinical Outcomes to introduce its Patient Reported Outcomes Measures platform at each of the provider’s 53 hospitals.

A patient’s questionnaire on a smartphone

Circle was founded with a unique ethos of clinician leadership, engagement and empowerment. This has remained a core value as it has grown from a small challenger provider to the largest player in the UK independent hospital sector. 

We have always prioritised patient outcomes above every other metric and this is reflected in best-in-class results in the sector. 

For example, last year, PROMs were 9% higher than the NHS benchmark and 2% higher than the independent sector average in the hip surgery category.  

In the knee category, outcomes were 33% higher than the NHS benchmark and 14% higher than the independent sector average. 

Collaborative efforts 

Our distinctive model of clinical leadership – with a senior consultant employed as clinical chairman at each of our 53 sites – means consultants are highly engaged in collaborative efforts to improve clinical practice, patient safety, patient experience and patient outcomes. 

For example, Circle also leads the field in another key clinical quality metric: JAG* accreditation, where we have the largest number of JAG-accredited facilities in the independent sector. Twenty-five sites are accredited, more than double the second highest performing provider in the sector on this measure.  

Our consultants’ enormous commitment to continuous imp­rovement has also made us the top-rated provider for patient experience, according to PHIN data, with 92% rating their experience ‘very good’ versus 85%, 78% and 72% for the next three highest performers respectively.  

This unrelenting focus on clinical quality has also been recognised in the hospital regulator’s ratings, with a 13% increase in the proportion of sites rated ‘good’ or ‘outstanding’ by the Care Quality Commission across the portfolio in 2022, and a reduction in the number of sites rated ‘requires improvement’ from 40% to 18% since Circle’s acquisition of BMI Healthcare in 2019.  

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Clinical audit

A consultant’s dashboard

Circle is also unique in the sector in its embrace of transparent clinical audit in surgery, with 100% of sites completing the ‘Getting It Right First Time’ best practice surgical initiative – the gold standard of clinical audit in the UK healthcare sector. 

However, as anyone who works in the field of quality improvement will know, maintaining standards is not a tick-box that can be completed and then moved on from. Quality can only be maintained through a relentless focus on continuous improvement and marginal gains. As Circle’s founding motto notes, ‘good enough never is’. 

That’s why the next step in our continuous improvement journey is joining forces with My Clinical Outcomes to introduce its Patient Reported Outcomes Measures platform at each of Circle’s 53 hospitals.  

Founded by doctors in 2011, My Clinical Outcomes is widely recognised as one of the UK’s leading providers in the field of patient outcomes and clinical performance measurement.   

It offers one of the most comprehensive platforms available and the organisation’s technology currently supports more than 150 hospitals with over 1,000 clinicians and 200,000 patients in the UK.   

Effective data capture is vital to ensuring the success of a service or treatment pathway offered at a hospital. Increasingly, platforms like the one offered by My Clinical Outcomes are becoming instrumental to helping clinical teams evaluate and inform decision-making.  

Safe operation

A patient’s portal

From identifying unwarranted variation in surgical results to automatic data submissions and finally registering group-wide results with registries and regulators, effective management of data and understanding trends in patients is fast becoming key to ensuring the safe operation of a hospital and network.   

 This innovation will support Circle with managing and tracking consultant level data – providing teams at hospital and national level with valuable insight into the performance of consultants in every specialty offered across the UK. 

This will make outcomes measurement a routine part of patient care, delivering not only regulatory compliance but rich, actionable outcomes data and analysis.  

The partnership with My Clinical Outcomes is another step forward in digital transformation that will revolutionise our ability to track, collect and monitor the performance of our hospitals, and ultimately help us to continue offering outstanding care to the patients we serve. 

Circle is enormously proud to have been awarded ‘best hospital group of the year’ for three consecutive years at the landmark Health Investor awards, recognising our sector leading performance. 

We put this success squarely down to our unique model of consultant leadership and engagement, and we are determined to continue to excel in this field. 

At a time of global and national staff shortages, Circle was a net recruiter of clinical staff throughout 2022. As a result, 12% of UK registered medical consultants now have practising privileges at Circle. 

We are committed to supporting all of them to continue to improve and innovate and become leaders in their fields. Together, we believe we can push the boundaries of excellence in patient care in the UK.  ‘Good enough’ never is. 

* JAG accreditation is the formal recognition that an endoscopy service has demonstrated that it has the competence to deliver against the criteria set out in the Joint Advisory Group on GI Endoscopy standards