Making it easy to measure and improve standards in neonatal care

21st January 2022

Bliss are the UK’s leading charity for babies who are born premature or sick, and need neonatal care.

Bliss work closely with healthcare professionals and administer the Bliss Baby Charter, which is the UK standard for neonatal units to develop, measure and improve family-centred care.

Project highlights

  • Easy to use online audit and review process
  • Bringing a manual process online has made it more efficient and transparent for everyone involved
  • More time and effort can be focussed on real improvements to family-centred care

Challenges

Neonatal units audit their care against the Bliss Baby Charter standards. Review and assessment are handled by the Bliss team and their external assessors.

Bliss needed an online solution to replace their labour-intensive process for administering the Baby Charter. The manual process involved an Excel spreadsheet where units recorded evidence of their performance against each area of the Baby Charter standards. The spreadsheet would be reviewed by Bliss, who would give feedback and recommend improvements. Sending the spreadsheet back and forth resulted in a lengthy process that was onerous for both Bliss and the unit leads.

By bringing the Baby Charter online, Bliss wanted to make the audit process much easier for unit leads to understand and follow, and reduce the administrative burden for the team at Bliss.

Solution

Discovery

We carried out a series of workshops and stakeholder interviews to:

  • fully map out the offline process

  • understand the major pain points

  • identify barriers to participation and progression

  • discover the aspects that had the most value for units

This helped us produce a list of the features required to build the Digital Baby Charter within the project’s fixed budget, with the optimal satisfaction for users.

The Digital Baby Charter

Units now have a fully online audit and review process:

  • Units give themselves a red/amber/green rating and provide supporting evidence.

  • Bliss can adjust ratings, give feedback and tell the unit exactly what they need to do to improve against each standard

  • Audit can be resubmitted as many times as needed until the unit is ready for their site assessment

  • This is all supported by automated email notifications and reminders, to keep things moving along.

Site assessments remain fully offline. These have a valuable and highly custom element which doesn’t have a digital equivalent.

Making it easy

The finished product has been well received with many commenting on how easy it is to use. We hoped for a tool that would be more efficient for health professionals and the Bliss team and this is certainly the case.

Chelsie Letts
Bliss Baby Charter Programme Lead
Mobile view

Benefits for Bliss

Automation makes the process more efficient:

  • The unit can only submit their initial audit once all questions are answered

  • When action is required after a review, the unit can only resubmit once they confirm they have completed each action.

  • Helpful audit summary shows where changes have been made, so admins can focus only on what’s been updated
  • Email reminders help the Bliss team keep on track with their SLA commitments to units (they have a 12 week turnaround for reviewing audits)

We've surfaced useful information to give Bliss admins full transparency of the audit process:

  • Change logs for each question show what feedback was given and what changes were made at each stage

  • A unit report gives an overview of all units, statuses and dates, so it's easy to see how many units are at each stage, and identify any units that may be need extra support or encouragement to progress

It’s made life easier, much less time is wasted and it’s much easier to track what changes have been made and what is yet to be changed [...] it requires a lot less explanation to units

Bliss admin

Benefits for units

The online tool has vastly improved the experience of taking part in the baby charter. Unit leads have commented widely on how easy it is to use the online tool. This means it takes them less time and effort to submit and update their audit, so they can focus more effort on improving care.

  • Timeline describes each stage of the audit and accreditation process, making it really clear what’s involved and how long the process is likely to take

  • Audit summary shows a breakdown of every standard, % complete and % ’green’ (the desired score) so the unit can see what they still need to work on

  • Contextual help and guidance makes it really clear what type of evidence is expected for each standard

  • In review, on-screen prompts point the unit lead directly to any action required

  • Units seeking re-accreditation have access to their previous audits, so they can easily re-use anything that is still relevant

The model is clear and concise – easy to use and benefits staff and ultimately parents

Anonymous
Neonatal unit lead
The result is a tool that's more efficient for health professionals and the Bliss team - and even better, something people like to use.

Find out more about the Bliss Baby Charter

The benchmarking tool is private but you can learn more about it on the Bliss website.
Visit the Bliss website

Do you want to automate an audit or accreditation process?

We have loads of experience of bringing simplicity to complex processes. If you have a project that sounds similar we'd love to talk.

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