Iodem was formed by a multi-disciplinary team of professionals, each with personal experience of tackling the diverse and complex issues that arise in the healthcare sector today.
Iodem's story began in 2005. Initially, our focus was upon complaints handling and the disciplinary processes of a now abolished national regulator. However, by 2008, Iodem had grown in size and experience. As a result of our success, our work diversified to include service and management reviews, as well as providing and developing investigative services and commissioning advice.
Our work in 2021 reflects changes in the thinking surrounding safety in the NHS and elsewhere. When something goes wrong, we look at the system to understand why interactions with people were unsuccessful in delivering a safe and effective outcome.
'Iodem help stop the same mistakes happening again by identifying the correct learning for improvement'
How we do it:
At Iodem we listen.
We listen to confirm that we understand our clients and what they want to achieve.
We listen to ensure that we bring the correct skills to our projects.
We listen to understand different points of view, perspectives and insights - to gain an in-depth knowledge of the issues.
We listen to feedback to ensure that solutions which are presented are built on a secure foundation.
There are many different types of investigations and reviews, and an equally large variety of tools,
all apparently designed to maximise the learning in each case. The skill is knowing which tool or
combination of tools will work best to deliver results. At Iodem, our approach is tailored to the
needs of our clients.
Our teams of highly skilled and trained investigators have significant experience of these tools, and
our processes mirror best practice.
Our investigations are carried out with improving safety as a focus. Iodem delivers a robust,
impartial and comprehensive study of the relevant evidence to inform decision makers.
We always use a proportionate approach towards the issues to be investigated. The word
‘proportionate' does not mean ‘less' – it means doing the right amount of
work to properly inform and fully support our findings.
We value our independence, which ensures our objectivity and credibility. This means that our clients
can be confident that our work displays an audit trail, which is both transparent and can withstand
public and legal scrutiny.
Iodem understand that most safety incidents are a result of a combination of circumstances. Iodem use
a variety of analytical techniques that evaluate the interconnected contributory, human and causal
factors involved in safety events.
Analysis by our skilled team includes consideration of national and local policies, current research
and models of good practice. We actively include information provided by opposing opinions and
perspectives in this process in order to generate thinking which will deliver improvement. The tools
which Iodem adopt accord with best practice and recognised national guidance.
Most incidents are caused by weaknesses in systems, which then lead to conditions that make it
difficult for individuals to do the right thing. Because an Iodem team is bespoke, it will include
individuals with ‘hands on' experience in the relevant specialist field to select the most
appropriate analytical tools.
Due to Iodem's expertise, analysis will include deep understanding and insight, enabling us to
transform critical information into the knowledge that allows our client to make an informed and
secure judgement about next steps.
When a stone breaks the surface of undisturbed water, while the stone predictably sinks to the ground,
the ripples that emanate from the point of contact are inevitable and far-reaching. Iodem understand
that the impact of a safety incident can have the same unpredictable and extensive effect. Our
investigations are designed to successfully identify and address these impacts.
During our investigations we do everything we can to reduce any potential negative effects. We produce
materials which explain what we do and why. We make time to communicate why we concentrate on the
systems and processes that support staff, rather than the supposed failings of individuals.
We work hard to create an open and transparent environment surrounding our investigations and reviews.
Our experience is that this leads to an open and transparent environment where staff feel encouraged to
collaborate with us and potential negative impacts can be addressed effectively.
We take time to ensure that relationships are fostered and trust is strengthened, because we recognise
that improving care, and reducing potential detrimental impact, is an intrinsic part of everyone's job.
At Iodem we help our clients create the conditions which allow a culture of safety to flourish. The
recommendations which we make are aimed at improving performance and safety.
We work in collaboration with our clients to develop solutions that address their individual needs, and
exploit the benefits of the opportunities for learning, which have been identified on behalf of
organisations, their staff and the individuals receiving care.
The expertise and experience of our team is utilised in coordination with our clients to establish
solutions which will achieve continuous and measurable improvement.
We can provide practical support and resources, through a number of our services, which will deliver
quantifiable and sustainable change using a high-level roadmap. Our roadmap identifies three levels of
activity: strategic, change, and action steps. The roadmap includes guidance, best practice, practical
tools, and “essential insight” in an intuitive and organised format. It includes a range of suggestions
and tools that can be used by decision makers, managers, and clinicians to improve safety.
Perhaps the biggest barrier to learning in a safety investigation is the unspoken question in the minds
of those who are actually best placed to improve safety:
"What will happen to me because this went wrong, and now questions are being asked?"
We recognise the negative impact that the insidious blame culture which may exist in relation to safety
incidents can have.
At Iodem, our expertise enables us to have difficult conversations that bring everybody together, to find
a shared way of solving problems. We reduce the impact that a clinical investigation has on every party
involved in a safety incident, and when we manage an investigation, we create an environment of
involvement and respect, meaning we don't miss opportunities to progress, which allows for long-term
It is important that each employee knows their value, and so Iodem work with our clients to fulfill their
specific needs, providing a specialised, bespoke service that prioritises patient safety, reduces
negative impacts, and creates a compassionate and coordinated workplace system.