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New system will mean quicker learning curve for improving patient safety

DATIX project team members (l-r), project manager Healthshare Shelley Baker, PowerHealth Solutions Adelaide project lead Chris Marshall, Healthshare regional business analyst Peter Terlindeon, Waikato DHB project lead Mo Neville, project manager Ros Morrel and Datix facilitator Alfredo Bernal.

Waikato District Health Board (DHB), the largest of the Midland DHBs, went live last week with a new electronic incident, complaints and risk management reporting system for staff to use. Waikato is the second Midland DHB to use the UK Datix safety learning system, implemented and supported by Australian software company PowerHealth Solutions.

Chief executive Dr Nigel Murray said it was great to see this development in our DHB.

“Recording of adverse or near miss events has become a whole lot easier, which will make it quicker to pick up trends and areas where we need to focus our improvement efforts.

“This is a big step forward for patient safety and quality and supports our quality strategy to listen, learn and improve,” said Dr Murray.

“I think it is very important to capture every incident and ‘near miss’ to ensure that we never lose a single opportunity to learn from our mistakes.”

Until now Waikato DHB reported about 13,000 incidents a year on paper forms and the information was then  manually loaded into a database. Incidents range from broken equipment such as a faulty hoist that may make patient care more difficult, to a patient fall that resulted in a fracture.

The new electronic system ensures better information is made available, with mandatory fields to be completed by staff. The information received on the old paper forms was not always complete which made reporting trends difficult.

“With an electronic system clinicians and managers will be electronically prompted to review, respond to, and process events as close to ‘real time’ as possible to address problems quickly,” Dr Murray said.

“The other great benefit of this new system is that it is being deployed across the five Midland regional DHBs. A lot of our patients move across the region, so having the same system enables some shared learning and improvements.”

The process for our public to make compliments, complaints or comments remains the same. They can speak directly to a staff member or fill in the ‘What Matters to you’ form available in all clinical areas, write a letter, send an email or fill in the online form available on our website. All of these communications are loaded onto the new system for actioning by our Datix administrator as soon as they are received.


Waikato Times previously reported (18 February 2016) that complaints to the public were now all electronic which is not the case.

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