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Minister sends clear message on patient safety

Minister sends clear message on cohesion of patient safety

Minister of Health David Cunliffe welcomed the report of Health and Disability Commissioner into the safety of patients at New Zealand hospitals and pledged to ensure its recommendations were followed up.


20 November 2007 Media Statement

Minister Sends clear message on a cohesive approach to patient safety.

Minister of Health David Cunliffe welcomed the report of Health and Disability Commissioner into the safety of patients at New Zealand hospitals and pledged to ensure its recommendations were followed up.

"I am sending a clear message that I expect the recommendations contained in this report to be followed and improvements made," Mr Cunliffe said

"Having a national approach to quality improvement in patient safety is essential."

The five recommendations made by the commissioner were

1. Development of early warning scores
2. Standardised sentinel event investigation training
3. National open disclosure policy and training
4. Standardised initial communication process with the Coroner
5. Standardisation of both nursing and medical handover practices.

"These five recommendations are commonsense and I intend for the Quality Improvement Committee which is already working on some of these points to drive this matter forward."

The Quality Improvement Committee is made up of a combination of clinicians and managers from around the country.

Mr Cunliffe said he also expected Information Technology to play a role in helping health services building on quality improvement in hospitals.

"I believe the planning structures and technology already exists to ensure that national cohesion occurs on patient safety and I am sending a clear message that I expect to see efforts in this area move forward."

Mr Cunliffe said he wanted to thank HDC Commissioner Ron Paterson, his team and the clinicians and managers who were working to improve patient safety in this country.


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