New national patient safety campaign launched

17 May 2013

Press release from Hon. Jo Goodhew, Associate Minister of Health

A new national patient safety campaign aimed at saving lives and reducing harm is being launched today by Associate Health Minister Jo Goodhew.

“This new campaign, Open for better care, challenges health care workers to be open to acknowledging mistakes and learning from them, open to working closely with patients and consumers, and open to change, improvement and innovation,” says Mrs Goodhew.

Open for better care is being coordinated nationally by the Health Quality & Safety Commission and implemented regionally by district health boards and other health providers. It will run until mid-2015.

The campaign focuses on four key areas where evidence shows it is possible to reduce patient harm – falls, surgery, healthcare associated infections and medication safety. Each topic will be rolled out sequentially, with falls the first area of focus.

“In our health and disability system, people with extensive knowledge, skills and commitment are already working together to deliver excellent patient care,” Mrs Goodhew says.

“However, we know patients are still being harmed, sometimes with serious and long-term consequences.

“These events can have a devastating impact on patients and families. Even patients at the less serious end of the scale of harm can end up having a longer stay in hospital. There’s also the associated extra cost to the health system.”

The Quality and Safety Markers, developed by the Commission in consultation with clinicians, will be used to measure the campaign’s impact. The first regular progress report on the Markers is planned to be published in June 2013.

Further information can be found at www.open.hqsc.govt.nz.

Last updated 17/05/2013