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Report identifies five areas for quality improvement

Five priorities for improvement are a feature of Waikato District Health Board’s fourth annual Quality Account published this week.

The DHB’s quality champions, former chief operating officer Jan Adams, director of nursing and midwifery Sue Hayward and chief medical advisor Tom Watson say in the report that it demonstrates an ongoing commitment to the delivery of safe, high quality healthcare.

l-r Jan Adams, Tom Watson, Sue Hayward

“It outlines our areas to focus and improve on over the next year,” they say.

“Ensuring every service user has a positive experience depends on the skills and commitment of our staff, guided by a strong focus at board level on all aspects that affect the quality of services we provide.”

The five priority areas for 2014-2015 are:

  • Continue to keep patients safe during their care
  • Reduce the number of people dying from preventable conditions
  • Continue to improve care around deteriorating patients
  • Continue to improve our customer care and responsiveness to patient needs
  • Improve our processes around patient transition/transfer from hospital.

Quality Accounts are annual reports to the public from providers of health and disability services about the quality of the services they provide. They aim to enhance accountability to the public and engage the leaders of provider organisations in their quality improvement agenda.

Quality Accounts should describe what an organisation is doing well; where improvements in service quality are required; what the organisation’s plans for improvement for the coming year are and how they have involved service users, staff and others in determining the priorities for improvement.

Quality Accounts were first introduced into the UK National Health Service in 2009 and became a reporting requirement for all NHS Trusts in 2010.

Patient safety falls prevention banner

Waikato DHB was the first district health board in New Zealand to publish a Quality Account for the year 2010-2011.

Back then there were six priority areas:

  • reduce medication errors
  • reduce patient falls
  • ensure clinical audit is carried out in every clinical unit
  • set up a mortality committee
  • improve hand hygiene practices
  • implement a safe patient care programme.

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