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What Even IS Triangulation, Anyway?

A common buzzword often used in healthcare surrounding patient safety data. But, what is triangulation anyway? And how does it help patient safety?
| Andrew Bingham | Healthcare

The search for ways to improve patient safety is relentless and ongoing, and one way might lie in how we use patient safety data after it has been reported. With the vast amounts of data coming in daily, the challenge is no longer about collecting data but making use of it.

Enter triangulation as a methodology that promises to make data more understandable and actionable for enhancing patient safety.

What is Triangulation?

Triangulation is the practice of combining data from multiple sources and analysing it to better understand a particular measure. This method brings multiple data perspectives on a number of different measures to the forefront, offering an overarching insight into a broader topic.

Depending on specific requirements, this data can be filtered using search tools to a particular speciality or by setting, diversifying perspectives and insights and allowing individual service lines, departments, wards or teams to analyse and take charge of their own data for learning and improvement.

Triangulation in Patient Safety

Triangulation calls for integrating diverse patient safety data into a singular, consolidated repository. This approach facilitates an encompassing view of what’s needed in relation to patient safety from a single vantage point.

It means that everything from LFPSE incidents, complaints, and PALS to risks, audits, actions, CQC self-assessments, and policy-related information is readily accessible. Such a cohesive approach eliminates the cumbersome task of manually extracting and comparing data from different systems with different logins and switching between tabs for comparison and analysis.

How Triangulation Enhances Patient Safety

Triangulation is not merely a technique for centralising data but is crucial in supporting patient safety. With all relevant data unified in a singular space, it’s easy to identify challenges or spot nascent trends, setting the stage for an effective improvement strategy.

Through the lens of triangulation, one can perceive how various incidents impact other areas, perhaps triggering complaints or leading to the necessity for more audits. This methodology provides an accurate and current snapshot of what is being investigated.

Features of Digital Systems Promoting Triangulation in Patient Safety

As the need for healthcare to become more digitally mature progresses, the emphasis on leveraging digital systems to compile data and drive better outcomes becomes paramount. Triangulation is a steadfast base for patient safety, supporting us to make more informed and effective decisions. But what should we expect from a digital system that supports this powerful methodology?

Integrated Apps for Cohesive Oversight

Integrating apps that function harmoniously is at the heart of a robust triangulated digital system. For instance, the Oversight Suite from InPhase comprises over 30 seamlessly integrated apps catering to varied needs, from LFPSE incidents and complaints to PALS, risks, audits, and even CQC self-assessments and policies.

The true power lies in their ability to link to each other - creating a symbiotic environment where data is effortlessly pulled from diverse sources and presented in clear, visual dashboards. This integration ensures that data is brought together automatically, providing a comprehensive vantage point.

Real-time Data Reporting

The usefulness of patient safety data lies in its timeliness. Dashboards, therefore, need to be constantly refreshed, offering the most current snapshot of incidents and their subsequent ripple effects.

With systems like Incident Oversight, the moment a piece of data is logged, it appears everywhere relevant on the dashboards of those with the permissions to see it to rapidly disseminate the data and any learning that might happen from it. Real-time reporting can alert those that need to know about it in other departments so they can put pre-emptive measures in place to mitigate the risk. The idea is simple: capture once, see it everywhere.

Depth and Detail at Your Fingertips

Dashboards shouldn’t be just data displays—they should be interactive, live, and be easily accessible by as many people that need it. Dashboards within InPhase Oversight are 'live' and seamlessly integrate multiple datasets, enabling users to drill deeper into the data for additional context whether it's understanding the direct implications of an incident, discerning underlying causes, spotting evolving trends, or even brainstorming improvement strategies.

Action-Oriented Insights

No matter how detailed, data is futile if it doesn’t translate to into actions. Recognising this, digital systems, such as InPhase Oversight, empower users to formulate actions directly from the dashboards. These actions are not created in isolation; they can be intrinsically linked to specific incidents, investigations, and even potential risks. Such a design ensures that every action is rooted in tangible data, paving the way for informed decision-making.

Triangulation, particularly in patient safety, furnishes a panoramic viewpoint crucial for informed decision-making. The advent of modern digital systems amplifies the potency of this approach, rendering it an invaluable asset in the quest for enhanced patient safety.

To find out more about what InPhase Oversight can do for your Trust and to see its triangulation capabilities first hand, schedule your time with an expert today.

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Andrew Bingham

Chief Operating Officer

Andrew is responsible for our account managers and customer success team, tasked with helping our customers make the most of the opportunities presented by our product features and key business responsibilities of customer retention, adoption and expansion.

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