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Profile on Daniel McClean, 2019/20 mental health and addiction quality improvement facilitator course graduate

Mental health & addiction quality improvement
16 June 2020

Daniel McClean is one of the 2019/20 mental health and addiction quality improvement facilitator course graduates and a quality coordinator in the young person’s sector at Mental Health, Addictions and Intellectual Disability Service (MHAIDS). Here, Daniel talks about how he found the training, the project he completed and how the overall experience has influenced his work.

Daniel McClean, graduate of the mental health and addiction quality improvement facilitator course.

‘I review monthly reports and survey complaints and compliments to explore where quality improvement projects can start,’ Daniel explains.

‘I was new to MHAIDS and the district health board system when my manager recommended me for the mental health and addiction quality improvement facilitator course.

‘The training was well organised, and the course facilitators really listened to our feedback about how the course was going. It was great to work in small groups with other course attendees and network with others from all over the country.

‘I learned a lot of things – like the value of really understanding a problem at the beginning. You can start thinking you know what the problem is, but the baseline data[1] really is the starting point. The course gave me the tools to get good baseline data and know how to evaluate it. Also, I’ve learned if you really involve staff from the beginning, they are more committed to the improvement process.’

Daniel’s project focused on reporting timeframes following an adverse event.[2]

‘Our goal is to respond to families within 70 days[3] with a completed report following an adverse event. It’s important that we don’t delay our review process, so all the information we gather is accurate and we can learn from adverse events in a timely manner.

‘We looked at our biggest gaps and longest wait times for the adverse events review process and reduced our triage process[4] for clinical staff[5] to undertake adverse event reviews. We needed to decide how much of an in-depth look we should take and develop tasks and timeframes for the review.

‘The adverse event committee went from two-weekly to weekly meetings. That helped adverse events to be discussed more frequently. We also completed a stocktake of all our reviewers. We compiled a list and looked for new reviewers. As a result, we increased our pool to 60 adverse event reviewers.

‘Using a timeline means we know the timeframes for the review, and which areas we need to focus on. We still haven’t managed to complete an adverse event review in under 70 days, but overall the process is faster. We’re in a good position and we are constantly evaluating our progress. We’ve made some good, positive changes.’

Congratulations to all the 2019/20 graduates and their project sponsors and teams for their excellent work this year.


  1. Baseline data is the initial collection of data which serves as a basis for comparison with data acquired subsequently.
  2. ‘An adverse event is an event with negative or unfavourable reactions or results that are unintended, unexpected or unplanned. In practice this is most often understood as an event that results in harm or has the potential to result in harm to a consumer.’ (Health Quality & Safety Commission. 2017. Learning from adverse events: Adverse events reported to the Health Quality & Safety Commission 1 July 2016 to 30 June 2017. Wellington: Health Quality & Safety Commission, p 4).
  3. The 70-day timeframe is the Health Quality & Safety Commission’s national standard for reporting.
  4. The triage process decides what level and complexity of adverse event review is needed.
  5. Clinical staff are specialist staff that includes nurses, social workers and doctors.

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