Q) How is the rate of harm calculated?

Using the Trigger Tool Portal you can calculate your organisations rate of harm.  For the Paediatric, mental health and acute Trigger Tool the calculation is the same:


Number of adverse events found in the Notes reviewed divided by the number of days the patients in those notes stayed in the NHS organisation times 1000.


For the GP Trigger Tool the calculation is slightly different.  The number of cases with one or more adverse events divided by the number of case notes reviewed, to calculate the ‘mean annual adverse event rate’. 


Q) If I add data to the Trigger Tool Portal is it safe and protected?

The NHS Institute website database is held on a separate server from the web-server, and is protected by firewalls that allow access only to the safer care team. The database allows access only with appropriate credentials and these are restricted to the site and authorised Institute users.  Patient identifiable information is not included in the Trigger Tool forms.



Q) What will the NHS Institute use the data for?

The NHS Institute’s only interest in the data will be in the development of the Trigger descriptions, at no point will the data be used to see the extent of harm in any NHS organisation.  The Users have full control over what data is stored in the portal and can delete it at any time.



Q) Can I add my own triggers?

A) If you are using the Trigger Tool Portal in a specialist area you may wish to add your own trigger description.  You can add up to five triggers to each of the four Trigger Tools.  You can also place them in the most suitable category, all the analysis will then be available in the reporting tool.


I already have a lot of Trigger Tool data, can it be added to the Institute’s tool?



Q) Can we download the base data that feed the analytical tools so that we might conduct further analysis ourselves?

Yes, your data can be exported as a CSV file, which can then be used in any data analysis application (including spreadsheets and statistical packages).


Q) Is this tool just designed for secondary care hospitals?

The original Trigger Tool Portal was designed for general hospital care.  The NHS Institute have also developed a Trigger Tool for Paediatrics and General Practice.  We are currently working to develop Trigger Tools for Mental Health, Community Hospitals and Community Nursing. 



Q) Sometimes one of the lines on the SPC chart is a different colour to that displayed in the help section, why?

If your SPC chart shows a line in a colour that is not explained in the help section, it is highly likely that two lines have merged together. The most common time this may happen is where there is a run of points (the data line) which are equal to the lower control line.


Q) Will there be any comparative information available so that we can benchmark our progress against others?

The Trigger Tool Portal is not designed as a comparative tool, and is not fit for purpose for benchmarking.  This is partly because of the different ways in which individual users make decisions about adverse events, and partly because of the complex and poorly understood factors which influence a provider’s adverse event rate. 


Q) I am having technical problems who do I contact?

Go to the “Contact us” tab and fill in your details.


Q) I am having problems completing a case note review.

Email safercare@institute.nhs.uk