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Waikato DHB on Board with National Patient Safety Campaign

17 May 2013

Waikato DHB on Board with New National Patient Safety Campaign

Waikato District Health Board (DHB) today (17 May) joins Associate Minister of Health Jo Goodhew and each of the four DHB regions – Northern, Midlands, Central and South Island - to launch a national patient safety campaign aimed at saving lives and reducing harm.

The campaign is coordinated nationally by the Health Quality and Safety Commission, and implemented regionally by district health boards and other health providers. It will run until mid-2015.

The focus of the national campaign is on four key areas where evidence shows it is possible to reduce patient harm – falls, surgery (perioperative harm), healthcare associated infections and medication safety. Each topic will be rolled out sequentially, with falls the first area of focus.

The campaign brand ‘open for better care’, challenges health care workers to be open to acknowledging mistakes and learning from them, open to working closely with patients and consumers, and open to change, improvement and innovation.

“Patient safety is at the heart of everything we do, and we are embracing the open for better care campaign. We see it as a better way of engaging with our patients and staff, and continuing the journey of improvement,” chief operating officer Jan Adams said.

Waikato DHB assistant group manager quality and patient safety Mo Neville will represent Waikato DHB at the regional at the launch in Auckland, showcasing the organisation’s quality and safety initiatives.

A Waikato regional launch is also taking place today in Rotorua, to which Mrs Adams, as a member of Waikato DHB’s patient safety leadership team, will be among those to attend.

As the campaign progresses, recommended changes in practice will be shared through the campaign website, events, learning sessions, presentations from clinical experts, ‘how to’ guides, videos and other resources.

DHB regions will implement the interventions that support and improve their existing quality and safety programmes.

Waikato DHB will release campaign material mid next week following a Board of Clinical Governance meeting.

Facts and figures:

The need to make changes to reduce patient harm is compelling.
• In the two years from 2010 to 2012, 170 people fell while in public hospital care and broke their hip. It is estimated that 22 people of these people died because of the fall.
• Up to 10 percent of people admitted to hospital acquire an infection, and many of these are likely to remain in hospital longer and have a longer recovery time.
• Medication errors made up 5 percent of serious harm reported by DHBs in 2011/12.
• Between 2005 and 2010, ACC accepted a total of 205 claims for retained instruments or wrong site surgery.

More information about the campaign is available at:

About Waikato District Health Board and Health Waikato:

Waikato DHB is responsible for planning, funding and providing quality health and disability support services for the 373,220 people living in the Waikato DHB region. It has an annual turnover of $1.2 billion and employs more than 6450 people.

Health Waikato is the DHB’s main provider of hospital and health services. It has six groups across five hospital sites, three primary birthing units, two continuing care facilities and 20 community bases offering a comprehensive range of primary, secondary and tertiary health services.

A wide range of independent providers deliver other Waikato DHB-funded health services - including primary health, pharmacies and community laboratories.


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