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Patient safety remains Waikato’s top priority

Three patient safety initiatives at Waikato District Health Board (DHB) and a number of other programmes underway to address quality issues in its hospitals are evidence of a healthcare organisation sincere about putting patients first, say the DHB’s two clinical champions.

Chief medical advisor Dr Tom Watson and director of nursing and midwifery Sue Hayward today released Waikato DHB’s serious adverse events for the year 1 July 2012 to 30 June 2013.

The 39 events include 20 severity assessment code (SAC) 1 events and 19 SAC 2.

In the same period, Waikato DHB had 103,337 inpatients in its five hospitals.

Three initiatives, Hospital at night, Releasing time to care and falls minimisation are proof of a commitment to improve the quality and safety of patients, said Dr Watson and Mrs Hayward.

“Reporting adverse events is about transparency and improving the quality and safety of health services,” said Dr Watson.

“Reporting those helps us manage the risks of providing care by identifying problems and failures in the system so we can learn from them and prevent similar events from happening.”

Mrs Hayward said not all the events were preventable.

“But many involve errors which should not have happened and that resulted in harm, extended length of stay for the patients and in some tragic cases, death.

“Waikato District Health Board is a healthcare organisation that puts patients first and intends to grow its reputation for excellence and innovation,” she said.

ENDS

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