Validated data collection methods are essential to success. When measuring the performance of clinical services and individual practitioners, it is critical that the individuals whose performance is being monitored believe that the data presented represents what is occurring. A frequent criticism by clinicians when the data is unfavorable is to challenge the data collection method and avoid dealing with their performance.
Caution should also be used when benchmarking with other facilities. The most frequent challenge is that the patient population is different and the reason for the apparent over transfusion is that "our patients are sicker."
Another important issue is that the data collection should be as automated as possible. This will ensure that the data is collected every month and is put aside for other urgent but less critical tasks.
Computers enhance data collection. Photo by Suzanne Butch