Shared learning database

Sheffield Health and Social Care NHSFT
Published date:
October 2011

This project illustrates the use of Microsoft Sharepoint for implementing NICE guidelines and Quality Standards across a large NHS Mental Health Trust.

The project was developed in-house and allows feedback, discussion, project registration/presentation and information sharing via a single route.

Guidance the shared learning relates to:
Does the example relate to a general implementation of all NICE guidance?
Does the example relate to a specific implementation of a specific piece of NICE guidance?


Aims and objectives

To provide a facility to improve implementation of NICE guidelines and Quality Standards by providing a single central information and feedback source. 1] To provide a convenient and easy to use facility to help front line staff implement NICE guidance. To do this the facility should:
2] Provide access to all relevant guidance and associated audit tools, slide sets and learning modules
3] Provide a feedback interface that can be completed easily and provide a graphical assesment of guideline implementation status for Trust Board and other groups
4] Provide a means to submit new projects for registration
5] Provide email, blogs and discussion board for staff to share developments in relation to implementation

Reasons for implementing your project

Prior to the development of the site, NICE implementation required a repetitive process of emails and disparate communication with a diverse mix of staff in an organisation that is geographically spread over a large area. Staff were often unaware of NICE related projects covering similar areas but in different directorates. A survey prior to the development indicated that some staff were unaware of the process of support for implementation and did not know how to access materials.

As a result, it was felt a single point of access for "all things NICE" was required to improve efficiency and feedback and allow staff to communicate on this issue in a way that was immediately visible to all staff interested in NICE implementation.

How did you implement the project

Sharepoint is a microsoft product and had been purchased by the Trust in order to implement a performance dashboard. It became apparent that the software could be utilised for NICE implementation and provide a convenient cross trust platform to provide the services described earlier.

The site was developed by the project manager and presented "live" at a mandatory clinical quality improvement meeting chaired by the medical director. The presentation was repeated and followed up by an announcement that meeting papers would now only be avialable from the site and would not be mailed out individually. A similar approach was adopted for requests for guideline materials and audit tools. In addition, projects now have to be registered via the site and clinical leads are expected to provide direct feedback on the status of implementation.

There was some initial resistance as we were in effect, obliging staff to use the site. This quickly dissipated and most staff now use the site routinely.

In relation to this exercise, no costs were incurred directly as the product had already been purchased for another purpose.

Key findings

Use of the site can be monitored as guideline leads are required to feedback on implementation using the site feedback facility and this has increased steadily.

One effect of this is that senior clinical staff are now providing (sometimes candid)views on the extent of specific guideline implementation and the barriers that, in their view, are preventing or impeding implementation. This information is being transmitted to the Trust Board. Prior to this an overview was given that was sometimes subjective. This information now comes individually and direclty from the clinician responsible for the guideline implementation.

While difficult to estimate cost reductions, there has been a good reduction in the use of email, telephone and paperwork. Guideline leads have become more autonomous as they can access what they require via a single route. They can also use the NICE slide sets directly from the site for teaching purposes. The site has streamlined the ability to conduct and report on audits of NICE implementation and provdes a platform where staff can share results easily.

One unexpected result is that some staff are now more confident in using IT resources such as this with a knock on effect for other resources like an interactive performance dashboard.

Key learning points

Difficulties in implementation can be helped by using good IT facilites to provide a local single point of access for NICE implementation by provding local project registration, feedback and communication resources.

If you develop a site, make sure you road test it with IT enthusiasts and non enthusiasts before launch.

If you currently use paper and email to manage guidance implementation, do not run two systems in parallel. Remove the old one. This may incur some objections but this quickly resolves once staff become familiar and realise its benefits.

Contact details

Brian Hockley
Projects Manager
Sheffield Health and Social Care NHSFT

Secondary care
Is the example industry-sponsored in any way?