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New marker added to rate DHB safety

Associate Health Minister Jo Goodhew has today welcomed data on Surgical Site Infections (SSI), which has been added to DHBs quarterly reporting on Quality and Safety Markers.

“SSIs are uncommon but can lead to pain, disability and even death. The data released today measures compliance with the right dose of antibiotics being administered at the right time,” says Mrs Goodhew.

The Quality and Safety Markers were introduced by the Health Quality & Safety Commission in June 2013 to drive improvement in patient safety. Markers are selected because there are proven interventions which can reduce patient harm.

“The results from this quarter show steady improvements being made in the other four markers which are aimed are reducing harm to patients from falls, surgical errors, infections linked to hand hygiene and the insertion of central lines in ICUs,” says Mrs Goodhew.

Key findings this quarter include:

  • More than half of DHBs are now using all three parts of the World Health Organization’s surgical safety checklist in at least 90 per cent of operations.
  • Nationally, 90 per cent of older patients have been assessed for their risk of having a fall, and 86 per cent of those have been given an individual care plan to address those risks.
  • DHBs have sustained their use of safety procedures for inserting central line catheters, which is estimated to have prevented almost 170 new bloodstream infections and saved more than $3 million in less than two years.

“While it is encouraging to see improvements being made, some DHBs have more work to do than others to ensure they are reaching these important safety goals,” says Mrs Goodhew.

The results from this and previous quarters can be found on the Health Quality & Safety Commission website

ENDS

Media contact: Angela Kenealy 021 220 0129

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