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Celebrating excellence in patient safety


Congratulations to both our Waikato Hospital Laboratory team and Older Person and Rehabilitation (OPR) unit for winning the Waikato District Health Board Sustaining Excellence in Patient Safety Awards for the second half of 2015.

Waikato District Health Board chief medical officer Dr Tom Watson said the board of clinical governance was impressed with both projects that had clearly put the patient’s wellbeing first.

Older Persons and Rehabilitation unit were recognised for their “On Your Feet” programme that worked to reduce falls and the overall number of hip fractures.

The project wanted to see if improving balance and mobility in older people would help prevent falls from occurring.

The programme comprises of a falls and balance assessment clinic followed by a six week education and exercise falls prevention programme.

“The results have been impressive with an 80 per cent reduction (of those who have attended the course) in Emergency Department admissions from falls in the first 6 months and for those who have fallen, none have suffered a broken hip,” said Watson.

OPR manager Belinda Macfie said it was a multidisciplinary programme that was successful because of several willing and motivated people.

The laboratory was recognised for its initiative which identified better ways to input data, resulting in less samples being misdiagnosed or lost.

The quality improvement project used a 10 per cent sample size of the labs registrations due to the sheer volume of samples tested by the lab daily.

What they found was because of the nature of manual data entry additional resource was required and new key performance indicators were implemented.

The error rate is now less than 2 per cent of the audited registrations and estimated to be below  1 per cent of the total registrations.

Both teams acknowledge that change was not possible without a team of people working together.

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