DHBs show good progress on patient safety

  • Jo Goodhew

Associate Health Minister Jo Goodhew has today commended DHBs for their dedication to patient safety.

“The Quality and Safety Markers released today show progress is being made in the use of interventions and practices known to reduce patient harm caused through falls, healthcare associated infections and surgery,” says Mrs Goodhew.

“Baseline data was released in June 2013 by the Health Quality & Safety Commission, and this is the first quarterly report against those data.”

The data shows progress in all areas, with a particularly notable increase in falls risk assessments carried out by DHBs.

“Falls make up half of all serious adverse events reported by hospitals, so this increase in falls risk assessments is extremely positive,” says Mrs Goodhew.

“There has been a very positive result from new safety procedures for inserting central line catheters, with bloodstream infections virtually eliminated from our intensive care units. Over the last 18 months, we estimate nearly 150 of these potentially serious infections have been avoided.

“Fewer infections mean less time spent in hospital and less pain and suffering for patients. In addition, with each case of central line associated bacteraemia costing about $20,000, this means a significant reduction in hospital costs with the savings able to be spent by DHBs in other areas of health care.

“More DHBs than ever are using all three parts of the surgical safety checklist for at least 90 percent of the operations they carry out.

“I am pleased to see variations in hand hygiene practices between DHBs have decreased, and an overall increase in hand hygiene over the quarter.

“Overall the results are positive. Future data will provide a more definite indication of the effects of the changes in practice measured by the markers,” says Mrs Goodhew.

Further information on the Quality and Safety Markers can be found here: http://www.hqsc.govt.nz/our-programmes/health-quality-evaluation/news-and-events/news/1282