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Waitemata DHB Leads the Way in Improving Patient Safety

Waitemata DHB Leads the Way in Improving Patient Safety

Waitemata District Health Board’s drive to improve patient safety and care has reached a new highwith the DHB ranked top for use of the surgical safety checklist and third for reducing risk of falling first of the major metropolitan DHBs.

The latest Quality and Safety Markers released by the Health Quality & Safety Commission (HQSC) this week show Waitemata DHB is joint first place among the 20 DHBs with 99 percent adherence forusing all parts of the surgical safety checklist up significantly from the 80 percent achieved in thebaseline audit period of December 2012 to February 2013. “The result is a tremendous achievement for the DHB and signals our ongoing commitment to the quality and safety of the service we provide to people undergoing surgery at our hospitals,” says Waitemata DHB chief executive Dr Dale Bramley.

“The achievement would not have been possible without the support of all our staff, particularly our surgical teams who work hard to deliver on our organisational promise of providing best care for everyone,” says Dr Bramley.

The checklist, developed by the World Health Organization (WHO), is a commonsense approach to ensuring the correct surgical procedures are carried out on the correct patient. When implemented properly it requires hospital staff to stop and think about what they are doing and why. Thinking about what could go wrong is also important, for example checking for allergies to medicines.

The DHB has also maintained an excellent result for the number of older patients at risk of falling who received an individualised care plan with 97 percent achieved April to June 2014, well above the national goal of 90 percent. The individualised care plan ensures that each patient is assessed individually for personal risk factors that may result in a fall and has a care plan that addresses those factors.

The Health Quality & Safety Commission is driving improvement in the safety and quality of New Zealand’s health care through the national patient safety campaign, Open For Better Care. The Quality and Safety Markers evaluate the success of the campaign and determine whether the desired changes in practice and reductions in harm have occurred.

“There is still work to be done but the results are encouraging and we continue to focus within the organisation on improving all aspects of our performance in quality and safety,” says Dr Bramley.


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