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The Society for Acute Medicine Benchmarking Audit (SAMBA)

The Society for Acute Medicine (SAM) Benchmark Audit (SAMBA) is a national benchmark audit of acute medical care. The aim of SAMBA is to describe the severity of illness of acute medical patients presenting to Acute Medicine, the speed of their assessment, their pathway and progress at seven days after admission and to provide a comparison for each participating unit with the national average (or ‘benchmark’).

SAMBA normally takes place at least once a year. Data are collected for patients admitted over a 24-hour period, with follow up of clinical outcomes. The first summer audit was undertaken in 30 UK units on 20 June 2012; it has subsequently been repeated on an annual basis in June. In September 2016, a national report was published for the first time.1 The results of SAMBA have been published SAM’s journal, Acute Medicine, and other peer reviewed journals.2-9

The audit is run by SAM. The data collected pertains to:

• Unit structure and staffing levels

• SAM’s clinical quality indicators10

• National guidance or recommendations (e.g. from NICE, NHS England, NHS Improvement)

• Patient demographics

o Age

o Sex

• Severity of illness at presentation using an early warning score (e.g. NEWS2)

• Frailty

• Pathway of care through the hospital

As the title suggests, the audit compares the performance and structure of acute medical services and acute medical units. A national report will be published with the results. Each participating unit will receive a bespoke report of their performance against other participating units; to maintain confidentiality, participating units will only be able to access their own data, all other units will be anonymised.

Anonymised data (i.e. hospitals will not be identifiable) will be analysed within the Health Data Research UK Digital Innovation Hub for Acute Care (PIONEER), based at University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust, as agreed by members of SAM council. We will never release identifiable unit data to a third party, unless required to do so by law. We have never been asked or challenged to release data. Public bodies are obliged to release data under the freedom of information act. We have been advised that an individual patient can ask for access to their data, for example if they were making a complaint or legal challenge regarding their care.

Thu 22 Sep 2022, 13:01 | Tags: Acute Care Interfaces Daniel Lasserson