Clean campaign showing results
The Southern District Health Board is boasting improved statistics in hand hygiene and surgical safety procedures.
The year-long campaign by the Health Quality and Safety Commission, called "Open for Better Care", encouraged district health boards nationally to improve patient care and reduce potential harm to patients through targeted initiatives.
The first phase of the campaign focused on hand hygiene after the district reported only 59 per cent of staff adequately performed five-step hand-washing procedures.
The second phase was launched this week.
Southern District Health Board director of quality Tina Gilbertson said provisional results showed there had been a 10 per cent improvement in staff hand-washing procedures in just a few months.
"It was about making very visible our commitment to raising awareness . . . we went out with our staff promoting correct techniques."
Clinical staff providing care needed to remember hand hygiene before a patient, after a patient, before a procedure, after a procedure and after touching a patient's environment, she said.
"It is a little more complicated than the lay person's hand washing."
New surgical safety checklists also showed an increase in patient safety, she said.
An initiative launched by the World Health Organisation and implemented at Southland and Dunedin hospitals showed hospital staff were 90 per cent compliant.
"But we are aiming for 100 per cent," she said.
Staff at Southland Hospital were yesterday introduced to the second phase of the campaign that focused on reducing wound infections, particularly related to surgery.
As part of the launch, staff were given a quiz testing their knowledge of the cost of infections and how to prevent them.
Southern District Health Board director of patient services Lexie O'Shea said the introduction of a new short response patient survey had proved invaluable to the campaign.
"For the first time we have asked patients to describe how services were for them.
"I think that is really important because we can learn a lot from the patient's story," she said.
In the past patients were only asked to review services by ticking satisfactory or unsatisfactory on a questionnaire.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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