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Jo Goodhew

28 February, 2013

New patient safety programme pilot sites announced

Associate Health Minister Jo Goodhew today welcomed the announcement by the Health Quality and Safety Commission of a pilot of a new patient safety programme.

“This new programme aims to reduce surgical site infections and is being led by Auckland and Canterbury DHBs,” said Mrs Goodhew.

“Although a significant proportion of infections at the site of surgery are preventable, they are still the second most common healthcare associated infection. Currently two to five per cent of patients undergoing surgical procedures develop these infections.

“Surgical site infections can have very serious consequences for both patients and health services. They can cause emotional and financial stress, serious illness, longer hospital stays, long-term disabilities, and maybe even loss of life.”

Eight DHBs will participate in the pilot phase before the programme is rolled out nationally in July this year. The focus for the first year of the programme will be on hip and knee surgeries.

“Quality and safety in the health system is extremely important to the Government. We need to ensure New Zealanders received the best health and disability care within our available resources. That is why we established the Health Quality and Safety Commission in 2010,” Mrs Goodhew said.

“This new programme is one of three components of the Commission’s infection prevention and control work, which aims to improve patient safety by reducing the harm caused by healthcare associated infections.

“The Commission and DHBs have shown how successful a collaborative approach can be in reducing the incidence of these infections with the significant reduction in the rate of central line associated bacteraemia (CLAB) infections over the last year and a half.

“I look forward to the roll out of this new programme nationally and to seeing similar results as from the programmes already underway.”