Update on the national patient safety campaign

11 Mar 2013

Welcome to the fourth update on the national patient safety campaign. The campaign, which was announced in September 2012 at the APAC conference, will be launched on 17 May 2013.

The campaign will focus on harm reduction in the following four areas – falls, healthcare associated infections, medication and surgery – with falls being the first area of focus. It will align and work with existing patient safety campaign initiatives, such as the First, Do No Harm campaign in the Northern Region.

Working regionally

In December 2012, district health board (DHB) chief executives were asked to identify clinical leads, quality improvement champions and key regional contacts for the national campaign. The Health Quality & Safety Commission is working with the nominated contacts in these regions.

Flexibility to incorporate different regional approaches will be important. We will keep you up-to-date with details, including how you can be involved in meetings, initiatives or events in your region.


We have interviewed stakeholders about what sort of branding would be most effective in motivating people to take part in the campaign. This stakeholder feedback is helping us develop a range of brands, which will be developed and tested for final consideration by the Commission’s board.


Planning for the campaign launch is underway. Further details will be provided in the next campaign update. We are encouraging regional launches as well, and working with the regions on these.

A number of campaign resources will be made available to the sector before the launch.

Falls focus

Prevention of falls/Reduction of harm from falls will be the first topic area of focus, and falls prevention messages and promotions will be part of the launch. Each campaign topic in turn will be a focus for a period of four to six months.

The Commission is developing a programme of falls activities and promotions, which will run as part of the campaign. A number of falls-specific resources will be available for the launch. Likely resources include DVDs, factsheets, patient resources and PowerPoint presentations.

Working with consumers

Consumer engagement is a critical part of the campaign. Consumer champions will be identified in each region and the Commission will work with regions and DHBs to build consumer networks where they are not already in place.

Patient/Consumer/Family and clinician stories

Patient stories on experience of care give us the ‘real’ insight into why we are embarking on a national patient safety campaign. Therefore, we want to speak to people willing to talk about their personal experiences of harm in the health system – either as a patient/consumer or someone related to a patient/consumer, or as a clinician.

The aim of the stories is not to revisit past events, but to show how systems can be improved as a result of transparency about mistakes and errors, so these events do not happen again.

These stories will be profiled as part of the campaign at the launch, and on the Commission’s website. Those participating will have complete control over sign-off, and stories can be removed at their request at any time.

If you are willing to talk about your personal experience, or work with us to find patients and families willing to talk about their experiences, please contact communications@hqsc.govt.nz.

Campaign Advisory Group

The Campaign Advisory Group is now well established and provides valuable support and independent expert advice to the Commission’s Campaign Project Team, based on group members’ experience of working in the sector and/or experience of health sector campaigns.

The group met for the third time on 31 January 2013.

Members of the Campaign Advisory Group are listed below.

Dr Bev O’Keefe
General Practice NZ

Jan Adams
Waikato DHB

Margareth Broodkorn
Northland DHB

Carole Johnson
Consumer representative

Helen Sinclair
Hutt Valley DHB

Dr Ros Gellatly
Ministry of Health

Carole Heatly
Southern DHB

Prof Jonathon Gray
Ko Awatea

Dr Sally Roberts
Auckland DHB

Dr Gloria Johnson
Counties Manukau DHB

Karen O'Keeffe
First, Do No Harm

Sandy Blake
Whanganui DHB

Stella Ward
Canterbury DHB

Kelvin Twist
Consumer representative

Dr Don Mackie
Ministry of Health

Sarndrah Horsfall
Former CEO, National Patient Safety Agency, UK

Professional development

Capability building is an important part of the campaign and there will be many opportunities for people to increase their knowledge and skills in quality improvement and patient safety.

To support this, the Commission will fund:

  • four places per region in an improvement advisor professional development programme
  • eight places per region in a patient safety professional development programme.

Those receiving the funding will be part of the regional and/or local campaign structure and use the knowledge and skills learnt during the development and training programmes to implement the campaign.

More information about these opportunities and how to apply for funding will be published on the Commission’s website in March.

Campaign evaluation

Evaluation of the campaign will consider four questions:

  1. Did desired change in safety practice occur?
  2. Did a reduction in harm and cost occur?
  3. Was the process of effecting change through the campaign as efficient and effective as it could be?
  4. Has the approach of change we have adopted through the campaign made improvement more sustainable?

Measurements to answer the first two questions will be provided by the quality and safety markers. These are made up of process measures examining whether key changes are being implemented (for example, assessing patients for their falls risk, ensuring proper hand washing procedures are being followed), and outcome measures of the result of the changes put in place.

Questions 3 and 4 will be measured as part of the overall evaluation of the campaign.

We are in the final stages of a request for proposal process to find a partner organisation to help us evaluate the campaign.

More information

We are now counting down to the launch of the campaign in May 2013. Watch out for the next campaign update in early March.

Further information about the campaign, including previous updates, can be found on the Commission’s website: www.hqsc.govt.nz. Click here if you would like to subscribe to campaign updates and other news.

Last updated 18/03/2013