Keeping our patients safe, theme for first Midland region quality conference

2 Dec 2014

Ron Dunham from Lakes DHB welcomes conference participants.

Inspiring speakers who challenged health professionals in Rotorua to ‘Keep our patients safe’ made the inaugural Midland Region Quality Workshop a success even before it finished. The workshop was supported by the Commission.

More than 150 people from the region’s five DHBs – Waikato, Bay of Plenty, Tairawhiti, Taranaki and Lakes – along with representatives from primary health organisations and aged care organisations heard from a variety of speakers.

Midland is the only region in the country to have a patient safety conference.

Lakes DHB chief executive Ron Dunham and Waikato DHB primary strategic liaison Jan Adams, the regional leads for quality, welcomed participants.

Mr Dunham outlined the workforce challenges faced by the health sector in the next decade, adding that quality improvement measures would be a key means of providing answers to workforce issues.

Health Quality and Safety Commission chief executive Dr Janice Wilson talked about “Being open to a challenge: patient safety and the national patient safety campaign.”

Representatives from Lakes, Taranaki Waikato and Bay of Plenty spoke about patient safety.

The afternoon session focused on consumer engagement and making a difference for the patient experience.

Speakers included former Consumers Institute chief executive David Russell who spoke about what a complex world it was now. For the past seven years Mr Russell has been self-employed with a specific interest in health from a consumer perspective.

“Innovation over the past 70 years has been remarkable,” he said, resulting in:

  • creation of ever increasing inequality
  • quest for knowledge by consumers
  • role of the internet
  • the ever present rogues.

“Consumers have rights. There must be an impartial and effective process to lay a complaint. It must come from the top and be genuine,” said Mr Russell.

The final speaker was Waikato University associate professor Samuel Charlton who talked about human factors. Prof Charlton is head of the School of Psychology and a member of the Traffic and Road Safety Research Group for the past 20 years.

His work examined a range of road transport issues such as driver attentiveness and fatigue, drivers’ perceptions of risk, acute protracted error effects associated with alcohol, the effect of cell phones on driver performance, the conspicuity and comprehension of hazard warning signs and the design of self-explaining roads.

Check out photos from the conference at

Workshop feedback

Attendees were sent a link to SurveyMonkey requesting feedback. Fifty-seven responses were received, 49 from DHBs, seven from aged residential care and one from the community and home-based support services sector.

The sessions rated as the most valuable were:

  • Does your data tell a story – Liz Disney (Taranaki DHB)
  • Pressure injury prevention & management pilot – Julie Betts and Fran Grocott (Waikato DHB)
  • Patient experience making a difference: ‘Te Rina’s journey’ – video presented by Averil Boon (Bay of Plenty DHB)
  • Human factors Associate Professor Samuel G Charlton (Waikato University)

Fifty-five people responded to the question ‘Would you attend this event again?’ with 54 answering yes.

Fifty-five people would recommend attendance to colleagues.

Sample of comments received about the workshop

  • Very worthwhile, variety of topics, several outstanding presentations
  • Thank you [for] arranging this event, it was a great day and well run
  • Well done. Thanks for the hard work. It is encouraging to see a bit of a ground swell developing
  • The feedback from HCA's and ARC workers was so rewarding. They don't get many opportunities to attend events like this
  • Was really beneficial that the travel was included in the conference – it made it possible for those in our DHB to attend. The day was really useful and great to hear what initiatives are underway in the area, and people to link in with for our own improvement initiatives.

Last updated 01/05/2015