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Patient safety campaign showing results

Patient safety campaign showing results

Associate Health Minister Jo Goodhew has congratulated health professionals as a national patient safety campaign in hospitals marks its first anniversary.

“The Open for better care campaign was launched last year as part of the Government’s commitment to making health care safer and reducing harm to patients,” says Mrs Goodhew.

“The campaign focuses on the consistent use of simple interventions that are proven to improve patient safety.”

All 20 DHBs and 19 private surgical hospitals have signed up to the campaign, which is coordinated by the Health Quality & Safety Commission (HQSC).

The Health Quality and Safety Markers, which have been in place since July last year, are used to track the impact of the campaign. Improvements seen nationally so far include:

Falls: Falls assessments for older people have risen from 77 per cent to 90 per cent. The cost of patient falls in hospitals is estimated at $3-5 million per year.

Infections: Good hand hygiene practices are now being followed nearly 73 per cent of the time, up from 62 per cent. Good hand hygiene can reduce patient infections by 10 per cent, at a cost of almost $140 million per year.

Operations: Use of the WHO surgical safety checklist has increased from 71 per cent to 93 per cent. The checklist reduces avoidable complications from surgery by about 21-36 per cent, at a saving of $5.7 million per year.

“The progress to date is encouraging, and I look forward to seeing further improvement in patient safety as the campaign continues,” says Mrs Goodhew.

Further information on the campaign can be found at www.open.hqsc.govt.nz.


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