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Making meaningful decisions from NRLS reports

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Dear All

Please excuse my ignorance, especially if I am failing to see or understand something that is so glaringly obvious!  However, I wondered if any of you, my esteemed colleagues, would be able to assist me with a conundrum that I currently face:

  • Number of incidents occurring per 1,000 bed days

My questions:

  1. What does this actually mean, and how is this useful exactly?   
  2. How do you know if the sum of a bed days calculation is good or bad? 
  3. How can this sum be used to quantify/understand incidents that occur within an outpatient setting (or a setting that does not involve bed days)?

For example, if we say that an organisation has 5,910 incidents and a bed days figure of 171,971, we would then  need to calculate 5,910 / 171,971 x 1000  = 34.36. 

As the NRLS uses the 'metric', incidents by 1000 bed days, to write a report which includes this sum for your organisation, and that of your "cluster" (other organisations that are 'supposedly' similar to yours), what does this sum actually signify and how can this be used to try and compare yourself to other service providers?


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