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Posted 5 Nov 2012 in Open for better care

Welcome to the second update about the forthcoming Patient Safety Campaign.

Development work continues at a fast pace! The campaign will be launched in the first half of next year and aims to reduce harm in the areas of healthcare associated infections, surgery, medication and falls. It will support, build on and bring a further focus to the patient safety initiatives already underway throughout New Zealand.

Our current focus is:

  • confirming the harm-reduction interventions on which we will focus, within our priority areas of healthcare associated infections, surgery, medication and falls
  • identifying groups of stakeholders throughout the country and engaging with them – both to ensure alignment with existing initiatives and to continue to build a regional and local support base for the campaign
  • working with the First, Do No Harm campaign on alignment of the national and Northern Region campaigns and building on the learning from their work to date
  • seeking further advice from the Campaign Advisory Group at the second meeting, later this month
  • quantifying the harm that could be prevented, potential lives saved and cost savings for each of the four priority areas
  • developing options for a campaign brand
  • agreeing the methods to be used in the campaign priority areas
  • appointing a campaign clinical lead
  • appointing a campaign chief advisor, quality improvement.

Specific areas of focus within the four priority areas

The campaign aims to reduce harm in four areas – healthcare associated infections, surgery, medication and falls. There are interventions in each of these areas that could be undertaken to reduce harm. In order to have measureable improvement during the campaign, there will be a specific focus on one or more interventions within each priority area. The interventions chosen will have proven effectiveness, such as a successful history in other health care settings.

The Commission has existing work programmes across each of the four focus areas, as do a number of DHBs. The campaign will profile specific interventions from within these work programmes. As the campaign progresses, the interventions profiled may change, as foundation work on one is completed, or it progresses to a maintenance phase and the campaign looks to profile a new intervention.

For each of the four areas, we initially propose to support the following interventions.

Reducing health care associated infections through:

  • practices to reduce surgical site infection (SSI) and
  • the five moments of hand hygiene

Surgery – reducing perioperative harm through:

  • assessment for risk of Venous Thromboembolism (VTE)
  • perioperative team work and use of the surgical safety checklist

Reducing harm from medication, with a focus on medicines reconciliation

Reducing harm from falls through:

  • assessing for risk of falls
  • planning for individual care needs to prevent falls among older people.

Evidence stocktake and resource development

Over the next three months, for each priority area, we will:

  • develop a summary of evidence of effective interventions
  • undertake a stocktake of existing resources and who is doing what
  • develop a summary of the harm that could be prevented, potential lives saved and potential cost savings

This work will enable us to identify gaps in existing information and resources on preventing harm, and we can then begin to develop campaign resources – these could be learning sessions, presentations by clinical experts, ‘how to’ guides, planning, measurement and implementation tools etc.

We will circulate a further campaign update in mid-November.

Best wishes,
Health Quality & Safety Commission Campaign Team