Health quality & safety commission (HQSC)

HQSC logo

The Health Quality & Safety Commission (the Commission) was established in November 2010 in response to concern that only modest improvements in health quality and safety had been achieved at a national level over previous years.

New Zealand Triple AimThe Commission’s role is to lead and coordinate work across the health and disability sector to monitor, support, promote and improve the quality and safety of services across the sector.  It’s vision is for New Zealand to have a world-class and patient-centered health care and disability support system supporting the New Zealand Triple Aim of:

  • improved quality, safety and experience of care
  • improved health and equity for all populations
  • best value for public health system resources

'Open for better care' campaign

The Commission is leading and coordinating a national patient safety campaign with the theme ‘Open for better care focusing on four priority areas.

  1. Reducing falls and harm from falls in care settings.
  2. Reducing healthcare associated infections.
  3. Reducing perioperative harm.
  4. Reducing medication errors and improving medication safety.

'Open for better care' logoA set of quality and safety markers has been developed to measure the campaign’s impact.  Results of process markers for each of the priority areas are reported for each DHB against a threshold of expected performance.  The markers set the following thresholds for DHBs:

  • 90 percent of older patients are given a falls risk assessment
  • 90 percent compliance with procedures for inserting central line catheters
  • 70 percent compliance with good hand hygiene practice
  • all three parts of the WHO surgical safety checklist used in 90 percent of operations

The first results (baselines) for each marker were publicly reported by the Commission on 27 June 2013 [view results on quality and safety markers].

Quality & safety marker results

Waitemata DHB’s results show:

Quality & Safety Marker


Waitemata DHB Results

% of patients aged 75yrs and (>55 Maori & Pacific) assessed for risk of falling


(Jun 13)




% of occasions CLAB[1] insertion bundle used


Q1: 95%

Q2: 95%

Q3: 93%

Q4: 91%
(Jun 13)

% of moments compliant with hand hygiene


Q1: 62%

Q1: 73%



% operations when all 3 parts of the surgical safety checklist is used


(Jun 12)




  1. Central Line Associated Bacteraemia (CLAB)

For further information about the work Waitemata DHB has been doing for each of the Commission’s priority programmes go to the Quality Improvement section of  this site.

During 2013-2014, the Commission plans to develop and finalise the markers for the medication safety programme. 

The Commission has several other programmes promoting quality and safety across the sector.

National Mortality Review Committees
Information on national mortality review committees on HQSC website
[click on image to go to website]