Access To Audit Data
There are two methods by which clinical audit data can be accessed.
NOCA Research Data Access Policy
NOCA encourages high-quality research within an ethical framework designed to improve clinical care provided to patients. This policy refers only to the access to clinical audit data by researchers. This will encompass a wide range of activities such as:
- Primary research led by the National Office of Clinical Audit
- Collaborative research with other national and International research partners
- Facilitation of access to data routinely collected for clinical audit for analysis.
NOCA will authorise access to clinical audit data for purposes of research. This may be done by NOCA alone or in collaboration with audit processors, whom NOCA work with to provide national clinical audit.
All requests for access to data for research purposes are managed equitably, through the same process, whether the request comes from NOCA internally or from an external source. Access to clinical audit data for research purposes will only be granted when audit data has been reported at a national level. All requests for data for research purposes are considered by the Individual audit governance committees and the NOCA Governance Board.
NOCA Access to Data for Service Evaluation and Quality Initiatives
The role of NOCA is to promote sustainable clinical audit and support informed decisions on how services are delivered and clinical care improved. NOCA is responsible for evaluating audit data and publishing findings arising from national clinical audits.
Information is a valuable resource and as such, wherever possible, it should be collected once and used many times, with appropriate safeguards in place (HIQA, 2013). NOCA will authorise access to clinical audit data for service evaluation and quality purposes in a timely manner. This may be done by NOCA alone or in collaboration with audit processors, whom NOCA work with to provide national clinical audit.
This policy refers only to the secondary use of clinical audit data for service provision and quality purposes. Some examples may include:
- Health service quality assurance and quality improvement purposes
- Performance monitoring e.g. assess if national targets are being met and to identify areas where improvements are required
- Planning of services e.g. planning, provision and measurement of acute hospital services and also for the allocation of resources
- Other purposes deemed appropriate by Audit Clinical Governance Committee