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This section contains media releases released a little while ago. Please note that due to the long time when some of these were released images have been removed and some links might no longer work.

November 21, 2012

Making Our Hospitals Safer

The West Coast District Health Board welcomes the release of a report on 'Sentinel and Serious Events' by the Health Quality and Safety Commission, says Chief Medical Officer Dr Carol Atmore.

The Health Quality and Safety Commission New Zealand report "Making Our Hospitals Safer" was released today (November 21). The report can be accessed via the commission's website www.hqsc.govt.nz .

The report refers to four West Coast DHB events within the 2011-2012 year. One is still under investigation and the other three events, while potentially serious, did not result in harm to anyone. The events were included in the report due to the learning and process changes that resulted from them. West Coast events can be seen on the DHB website .

"The West Coast DHB strives to provide safe and high quality care to its patients," said Dr Atmore. "When a patient is harmed while receiving medical care in the public health system it can be traumatic for patients and their families as well as staff providing the care. Incident reporting and the investigation process that follows is key to reducing the likelihood of it ever recurring."

The West Coast DHB's incident investigation system has four essential elements. Recognising and reporting incidents and near-misses is the first stage. A 'no blame' culture leads to staff being willing to report incidents in an atmosphere of openness and trust.

Incidents are then investigated with recommendations made to address any system gaps identified. Most adverse events or near misses are the result of a chain of events and circumstances that create unexpected gaps in the process of caring for patients.

The investigation is then reviewed by a multi-disciplinary team. From that review, further recommendations might be made, also with the intention of reducing the likelihood of something similar happening again.

Finally, key staff are tasked with implementing and monitoring the recommendations to ensure real change occurs.

Serious incidents are also reported to and monitored by the Health Quality and Safety Commission.

"West Coasters can be assured that the reporting and investigation processes that occur serve to make our hospitals safer and lessen the chance of future incidents," said David Meates, West Coast DHB Chief Executive.

Ends

For more information

Bryan Jamieson
Community Liaison Officer
West Coast DHB
PO Box 387
Greymouth 7840
Phone (DDI): (03) 769-7665
Mobile: 027 245-9595

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