Measuring and Monitoring in Healthcare

Module code: MD7458

In this module you will study the methodologies used in the measurement, reporting and interpretation of clinical quality and safety indicators. Together we will explore statistical process control, generating operational definitions, the choice of an appropriate indicator, statistical and graphical methods for presenting and summarising data, and the interpretation of summarised data. Real data will be used to illustrate the issues and to explore the advantages and disadvantages of different methods. We will investigate practical issues in both cross-sectional and continuous monitoring quality and safety indicators, which will allow you to develop monitoring systems within your own practice.

Topics covered

  • Role of the monitoring of clinical indicators in the process of quality improvement
  • Desirable characteristics of a quality indicator in healthcare
  • Basic methodologies for reporting quality indicators: longitudinal and cross-sectional data
  • Measurement plans for QI projects
  • Operational definitions for quality measures
  • Data collection systems
  • Principles of statistical process control in the context of quality improvement efforts.
  • Challenges in comparing data from different organisations or populations
  • Criteria used in identifying ‘signals’ in control charts.


  • 5 hours of lectures
  • 22 hours of seminars
  • 6 hours of practicals/workshops
  • 3 hours of tutorials
  • 114 hours of guided independent study


  • Written report on group task, 2,000 words (50%)
  • Analysis and report on example of measuring a quality indicator, 2,500 words (50%)