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Posted 23 Oct 2013 in Open for better care

October marks the kick off date for the latest initiatives being launched across hospitals and clinics in the South Island, under the Open for better care campaign aimed at improved patient safety and care and supported by the South Island Alliance network.

By participating in Open for better care, district health boards (DHBs) across the region are committing to ongoing learning and improvement, and to making a positive contribution to patient safety and the quality of care. They are focussing on reducing harm from falls, reducing surgical site infections, medication safety and reducing perioperative harm.

The current focus is on surgical site infections (SSI) running until March 2014. Campaign actions will be promoted through the campaign website, events, presentations from clinical experts, newsletters, posters and webinars. Some DHBs plan to hold booths to promote SSI messages to staff, which include:

  • the SSI surveillance process
  • giving patients the right antibiotic at the right time
  • using appropriate skin preparations before surgery
  • clipping rather than shaving the surgical site.

This work is being supported by the Quality & Safety Service Level Alliance, established in April 2013, that is providing advice, advocacy and recommendations to support and coordinate their campaigns. It will also be monitoring and reporting on this and future initiatives, including gauging performance against national indicators.

About Open for better care
Open for better care is coordinated nationally by the Health Quality & Safety Commission and implemented locally by DHBs and other health providers, supported by the South Island Alliance. Open for better care began with a focus on falls prevention when the campaign was launched on 17 May 2013. Open for better care will run until at least mid-2015. All 20 DHBs have signed the Open pledge to show their commitment to the campaign and to patient safety. The Open pledge has also been signed by MercyAscot and Southern Cross Hospitals, and is supported by the New Zealand Private Surgical Hospitals Association.