Associate health minister Jo GoodhewThursday 20 September 2012, 11:37AM
Media release from associate health minister Jo
Associate Health Minister Jo Goodhew today announced the
development of new Quality and Safety Markers for healthcare and a
national patient safety campaign to launch early next year.
"New Zealand has an excellent health and disability system by
international standards, and the vast majority of patients are
treated safely and effectively. However, for a small number of
people, events happen that cause harm or have the potential to
cause harm. This harm causes great distress to patients, their
families and clinicians, as well as increasing health sector
costs," said Mrs Goodhew.
Mrs Goodhew told the Asia Pacific Forum on Quality Improvement in
Healthcare in Auckland that this is why the Government tasked the
Health Quality and Safety Commission with developing the Quality
and Safety Markers.
"The Quality and Safety Markers will track progress in reducing
harm caused to patients in the areas of infection, surgery,
medication and falls. Errors in these areas are major causes of
serious and sentinel events in the health sector. The initial focus
will be on harm caused in hospital settings," said Mrs
"The Commission is currently working with clinicians to finalise
the Quality and Safety Markers, with the first regular progress
report planned to be distributed to DHBs and made public in
mid-2013. The success of the Government's six National Health
Targets demonstrates the effectiveness of regular public reporting
on progress in this way."
The national patient safety campaign will aim to reduce patient
harm by raising awareness and increasing knowledge, skills and use
of interventions known to improve patient safety.
"Simple changes can lead to big improvements in safety. For
example, proper hand washing greatly reduces the risk of patient
infections. Checking patients' footwear for good fit, non-slip
soles and safe laces reduces the risk of falling. Using a surgical
checklist that includes patient identity, operation side and site
and labelling of specimens for testing reduces the risk of surgical
error," said Mrs Goodhew.
The campaign will be led and coordinated by the Health Quality
& Safety Commission with local and regional leadership from the
sector. Further information can be found at www.hqsc.govt.nz.