|Patient safety leadership team|
L-r: Jan Adams - Chief Operating Officer Health Waikato, Tom Watson - Chief Medical Advisor and Sue Hayward - Director of Nursing & Midwifery
Health Waikato aims to provide high quality care for our patients. However incidents regularly occur which harm our patients and our staff. We know that many are preventable and we will continue to focus on reducing these as a priority.
Adverse events have major implications for the patients, the health professionals involved and affect the organisation because the wider community questions our reputation when we fail to meet the high standards of care our patients expect of us.
Adverse events also result in wasted Waikato DHB resources. We must improve our performance by reducing avoidable errors and continue that every year. To do this will involve looking at many of our systems and processes and making improvements that enhance the patient experience and journey, as well as achieve better outcomes.
Our six priorities are:
- reduce medication errors
- reduce avoidable mortality
- reduce the number of hospital-acquired pressure related injuries (ulcers)
- set up the Hospital Out of Hours project
- continuation and roll-out of productive series across all clinical areas
- Care essentials
Quality is important to all of us, and in 2009 we launched our patient safety initiative, highlighting six priority areas for the provider arm services to focus on, and drive improvement.
Since then, we have seen steady improvement against each of the priorities, and a growing focus on improving the quality and safety of care we deliver.
This is an excellent achievement as we faced the challenge of refurbishing and/or commissioning new areas of both Waikato and Thames hospitals as part of our major campus redevelopment programme during this time.
At Waikato Hospital, we opened the refurbished delivery suite, a new newborn intensive care unit, opened the new emergency department and the Acute Services Building. Meanwhile at Thames we opened the Clinical Centre, the inpatient unit and more recently a new primary birthing unit.
Part of our journey to success in these areas has been a focus on a strong project methodology, plus introducing the ‘productive series’ across inpatient wards, our emergency department and some community service areas.
We also focused on improving our performance management reporting frameworks, which reports on patient safety, finance and performance targets against key priorities such as elective surgery, six-hour acute targets and smoking cessation.
Looking back, we made significant progress since 2009 and our staff can be proud of what they achieved. Looking forward, our focus will continue on improving patient safety, clinical effectiveness and patient outcomes. We look forward to working with all staff as we strive to reach these goals together.
The quality co-ordinators work closely with clinical and management staff, and the established Waikato DHB quality and risk service. The quality co-ordinators strengthen the current quality focus and allow us to make good strides forward.
During 2011/2012 we will standardise the reporting data into a consistent format, refine the quality strategy and focus on process improvement.