GIRFT to harness technology to improve medical devices safety

Professor Tim Briggs on the launch of the MDSP

A clinically-led partnership will see the Getting It Right First Time (GIRFT) programme working with other NHS organisations to enable better use of technology to improve patient safety in the use of medical devices.

Following early discovery work, the Medical Device Safety Programme (MDSP) will be established to:

  • accelerate the adoption of digital technology to improve the tracking and monitoring of medical devices in real time;
  • establish a new information system and associated infrastructure to collect, link and analyse outcomes by procedure, including details of any medical devices or implants used, and the clinicians involved;
  • analyse outcomes data to drive improvements in patient care and safety.

On 27th January 2021, we hosted a webinar to discuss the MDSP – you can watch the whole recording below.

While much of the work began before the publication of last year’s Independent Medicines and Medical Devices Safety Review, led by Baroness Cumberlege, the new MDSP will help address the review’s recommendations around collecting the right data for monitoring the safety of medical devices and establishing outcome registries.

Following an announcement by health minister Nadine Dorries MP, GIRFT will lead on developing outcome registries for all relevant specialties, utilising in particular data from the Medical Devices Information System (hosted by NHS Digital) and Scan4Safety. The work will build on the experience of exemplar registries like the National Joint Registry (NJR) and clinical data evaluation groups such as Orthopaedic Device Evaluation Panel (ODEP) and Beyond Compliance in orthopaedics, which have already demonstrated the ability to avoid patient harm, improve outcomes and reduce re-intervention.

Working across the NHS and the medical device industry, the aim of the MDSP is to drive patient safety, as well as supporting novel procedures and future innovation.

Professor Briggs, GIRFT chair and senior clinical advisor to the MDSP, said: “GIRFT has long highlighted the need for improved, patient-centred, clinician-led device surveillance, and has made great strides in achieving this for orthopaedics. Now we want to see those results across other specialties.

“It is crucial that patients have the assurances they need that they’re being treated with the best and safest medical devices available, for clinicians to have actionable data to provide assurance and make improvements, and for companies to have real-world data to optimise innovation.”

More updates