This section introduces the information focus theme. Resources to support this theme are:
- RCN products and services and RCN publications relevant to this theme
- agencies that provide further information and resources
- policy and reports which shape the current strategic and policy framework for this theme
- guidance and tools which help with understanding of and implementation of policy.
"Information is the basic building block of any system of standards and quality" (Kennedy Report 2001, p. 394)
Every health care organisation needs to be supported by a rich information environment. Information and information technology are life support for the themes of clinical governance: patients, performance, staff and leadership.
Information is the great connector. It connects staff to patients and carers and staff to the teams in which they work and the team to all the other groups delivering care (Nelson et al 2003).
Information rich environments do not make themselves. They need to be designed properly with consideration given to the flow of information to support clinical decision-making and to optimise performance. This means using data to do the right thing at the right time to the right patient and using it to measure and improve the quality of care for patients (Care Quality Commission, 2009).
There are clear links between this section of the clinical governance resource and the RCN Principles of Nursing Practice, launched in 2010. The Principles set out what patients, colleagues, families and carers can expect from nursing. Principle E encompasses themes of communication, handling feedback, record keeping, reporting and monitoring. For further information, see Principle E. Principle H encompasses themes of leadership contributing to an open and responsive culture. For further information, see Principle H.
Care Quality Commission (2009) The right information, in the right place, at the right time (PDF 1.75MB) [see how to access PDF files]. London. Care Quality Commission.
Kennedy I (2001) Learning from Bristol: the Report of the Public Inquiry into children's heart surgery at the Bristol Royal Infirmary. London: The Stationery Office
Nelson EC, Batalden PB, Homa K et al (2003) Microsystems in Health Care: Part 2. Creating a Rich Information Environment. The Joint Commission Journal on Quality and Safety 29 (1) pp.5-15.