Posted 3rd Nov 2015

This week Southern DHB is joining with the Health Quality & Safety Commission and other DHBs to celebrate Patient Safety Week.

"Patient Safety is a priority at Southern 24/7. However the first week of November each year gives us the opportunity to celebrate this," said Southern DHB Director of Quality, Tina Gilbertson.

This year’s theme is "Let’s talk", with a focus on communication between health professionals and patients. Wards and services are using a range of resources to promote this.

A highlight is the Patient Safety Card and Video which is being launched. These are ‘airline-style’ safety card and video, with advice on simple things they can do to keep themselves safer while in hospital.

The card and video, which are based on the safety advice given on aircraft before take-off, have simple advice for patients about things such as preventing falls, blood clots, pressure injuries and infections.

Southern DHB staff will also be wearing bright pink or green ‘Hello’, ‘Kia ora’ or ‘Talofa lava, my name is’ name stickers. The stickers have been adapted from a campaign by terminally ill UK doctor Kate Grainger, who noticed many medical staff treating her did not introduce themselves or say what they were going to do.

Ms Gilbertson says that, "introducing yourself to a patient is about much more than just exchanging names. "It’s about making a human connection and building trust. It sets the foundation for better communication about every aspect of a patient’s care, and what matters to them. Clear, two-way communication with patients is essential and the name stickers are a great reminder to staff of the importance of good communication, as well as showing patients their questions are welcomed."

There are many Patient Safety Improvements initiatives running in Southern DHBs services all year round. The Quality Account that will be published soon will showcase these. "However one that adds to our celebration this week is our excellent Hand Hygiene Result. Last National Audit we were top of the country our latest audit result is 86% so when the national results come in we expect to maintain our high ranking," said Ms Gilbertson.

For more information about Patient Safety Week or the Open for better care campaign visit the website: