Introducing yourself to a patient is about much more than just exchanging names. It’s about making a human connection and building trust. It sets the foundation for better communication about every aspect of a patient’s care.
This week, 30 October to 5 November, is Patient Safety Week, with a focus on communication between patients and health professionals.
Waikato District Health Board (DHB) staff are championing a range of activities to bring this focus to life involving staff and patients.
Our patient’s wellbeing is our main priority 52 weeks of the year says Mo Neville director of quality and patient safety at Waikato DHB.
“It is our commitment to deliver the best and safest care possible across the whole patient journey. Patient safety week is a good time to reiterate to our staff the importance of talking about the simple communication methods that comfort and make patients and families feel safer through often challenging times” says Mo.
She also ran the quality and safety forum at Waikato Hospital that kicked off patient safety week, which had staff from areas including paediatrics, older persons, and Māori health breast screening services present on how they are continually improving their service delivery based on simple and efficient changes through feedback from patients and whanau.
As part of this weeks focus on communication between patients and health professionals, our DHB will also be encouraging people to have a think about their wishes for the health care and treatment they want towards the end of their life – even if having to make these decisions is a long way off.
This is called advance care planning and is encouraged for everyone.
“We are also encouraging staff to think about their plans so that it is easier to start the conversation with their patients,” says Mo
“Waikato DHB now has an Advance Care Plan Group. Members include representation from DHB staff, Hospice Waikato, PHOs, Age Concern and Healthshare. The group was formed to progress and embed advanced care planning across the DHB, primary care and the NGO sector for the Waikato region.”
The full week will see ‘Hello’, ‘Kia ora’ or ‘Talofa lava, my name is’ stickers being worn, which has a focus on good communication between health professionals and patients.
Some hospitals across the region will be decorating their wards and areas with patient safety displays and partaking in a range of internal team events.
A Safetysaurus (Patient Safety Week mascot) will also be visiting Waikids and giving out stickers during the week.
So get involved and join in the activities or checkout the DHB’s Twitter, Facebook and Instagram activity.
For more information on Advanced Care Planning go to