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Hospitals Need Safe Staffing

Media Release:

Hospitals Need Safe Staffing - Serious and Sentinel Events Report

The New Zealand Nurses Organisation (NZNO) welcomes the latest Quality Improvement Committee (QIC) report into Serious and Sentinel events in New Zealand Hospitals . The continued focus on quality improvement and patient safety is critical to improving patient outcomes. The recommendations are practical and achievable.

The majority of incidents (39%) related to clinical management which includes patient monitoring and appropriate supervision of staff, as well as physical environment, policies and equipment.

The second largest category was patient falls (27%). Key areas identified for improvement include assessment of falls risk and the greater use of care plans. In addition, implementing nursing rounds to anticipate toileting needs has been recommended by QIC, as has staff education.

NZNO sees a strong correlation between the links to these recommendations and those by the committee of inquiry into safe staffing and healthy workplaces[1].

“In order to be able to provide a high standard of nursing assessment and care, adequate numbers of appropriately experienced staff are necessary. Also critical are effective models of care that address the complex needs of patients, matched to the necessary level of supervision for more junior and unregulated staff. NZNO will continue its emphasis on the Safe Staffing and Healthy Workplaces Unit initiatives, working in partnership with DHBs in the new year,” NZNO Professional Nursing Advisor, Kate Weston said

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The willingness of the DHBs to share their information in order to learn from events is commendable. While there are still some discrepencies between the reports from the different DHBs, it can be anticipated that future reports will have increased consistency as the standardisation of incident management and reporting becomes more imbedded.

“NZNO is hopeful that the work of the QIC, that has been so influential in quality improvement, will be continued by the Quality Board when this is established.” Weston said.

[1] Safe Staffing Healthy Workplaces Unit (2006), Report of the Safe Staffing/Healthy Workplaces Committee of Inquiry, http://www.nzno.org.nz/LinkClick.aspx?fileticket=B2HW4Hixc24%3d&tabid=228


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