On behalf of Waitemata District Health Board and all our staff, I am pleased to present our first annual Quality Account - our opportunity to show our commitment to continuously improve the quality of the services we provide and share the evidence of that commitment.
The Quality Account is the most important document we publish each year. In this document we set out our quality priorities for the previous year and the further quality improvements we intend to make in the next twelve months and beyond.
In healthcare, we enjoy a special privilege rare in most sectors – that of being entrusted with the care of people. At Waitemata DHB, this is something we strive to keep foremost in our minds as we go about the day-to-day duties of caring for the sick and frail, and promoting health in our communities. Fundamentally, we aim to do our best for our population. Our organisational values and promise statement have been refreshed to reflect this. The values serve to inspire us to always be the best we can be – to strive to provide the best care possible to each and every person, and their family, who walks through our doors. At the heart of our values is 'compassion' - a value chosen by our nurses. Our other values incorporate an aspiration to always do better ('better, best, brilliant') for the community we serve, to be 'connected' with our community, and that 'everyone matters' whether they be patients, family members, or staff.
In this report we outline our progress in the four national priority areas of patient safety set by the Health Quality and Safety Commission, and on the work we are undertaking regionally with the three other northern region DHBs in a campaign, 'First Do No Harm', to make patient safety a top priority and to focus on no avoidable harm.
We describe the progress that we have made in the last year towards achieving our 2012-2013 vision for quality: to deliver patient-centred, clinically driven high quality outcomes. And, we describe how service users, community representatives, staff and others with an interest in the DHB have been involved, and can get involved, in improving the quality of care and services provided to our population, focusing on our quality priority areas:
- reducing harm
- improving medication safety
- improving systems and processes
- supporting clinical quality excellence
- supporting our workforce
- enhancing consumer engagement and experience
Within this account you will see some very positive improvement in areas such as reducing harm to patients by eliminating serious (grade 3 and 4) pressure injuries, significantly reducing the rate of healthcare associated infections (central line associated bacteraemia infections and catheter-associated urinary tract infections), and improving our understanding of infections that occur after surgery. We have also introduced innovative solutions to help us deliver better healthcare, including electronic medication prescribing and reconciliation systems, an electronic decision support system that helps our clinicians make timely decisions based on current best practice, a comprehensive cultural competency training programme for our staff, and a system to gather feedback from patients and their families about their experience of care to identify areas for improvement.
While the areas of improvement are very encouraging, it is, however, important that we continue to address the areas where we have not achieved the improvements we would like to have seen. So over the coming year we will continue to focus on improving good hand hygiene practice across the organisation, reducing serious harm that can result when patients fall, and improving safety during surgery; we will continue to participate in and promote the national 'Open for better care', and the Northern Region 'First Do No Harm' patient safety programmes; and we will continue to invest in building our quality improvement capacity and capability.
Throughout the period covered by this account, the Board has worked to strengthen the quality reporting and monitoring systems across the organisation. To try to ensure that the account covers the priority areas important to our community and patients, we have consulted with our key community representatives. Their valuable comments have been incorporated into the body of this account.
The production of this Quality Account with the associated quality initiatives is not an isolated annual exercise, but part of a continuous process. We welcome your feedback on any aspect of this account, but specific questions you may wish to consider include:
- What actions should we be taking to improve quality?
- How should we involve patients and communities in our work to improve the quality of services we provide?
- Do you have any comments or suggestions on the format of our Quality Account?
- What else would you like to see in our Quality Accounts?
Looking forward, we welcome your suggestions for our Quality Priorities in 2014-2015 – we will select three to six top priority issues across the three dimensions of quality (patient experience, safety, and effectiveness). We look forward to reporting on the progress we make in the following year.
Dr Dale Bramley
Waitemata DHB values and promise statement [view more about our values]