Quality accounts require health care providers to give an account for the quality of their services in a similar way to financial accounts showing how an organisation used its money.

Quality accounts are designed to tell each district health board's (DHB’s) story – their commitment to evidence-based quality improvement, what improvements are needed and how the public and local communities play a part in making health services better and more responsive. The Health Quality & Safety Commission supports DHBs to deliver quality accounts by providing guidance about their content and style. As part of this support, the Commission holds an annual workshop for DHB representatives. The workshops are a valuable opportunity to meet and learn about this important tool for DHBs. 

DHBs are given feedback on their accounts, and links with the Ministry of Health’s annual planning cycle, the NHS Safety Thermometer and a potential national dashboard to aid quality accounts reporting were explained.

The 2016 quality accounts national workshop was held on 10 March in Wellington. The morning was spent discussing the contribution quality accounts can make to telling a DHB’s quality story and different approaches DHBs have taken to develop these. Five DHBs presented on the lessons they have learnt during the process of preparing and publishing their quality accounts.

The afternoon focused on the pilot of the NHS Safety Thermometer basic tool which measures falls, pressure injuries, deep vein thrombosis and urinary tract infections. The three pilot DHBs (Northland, Waikato and Capital & Coast) shared their experiences of using the tool. The majority of the trial was undertaken with patients of the district nursing services and the feedback was enthusiastic. Perceived benefits included encouraging more holistic care of the patient, earlier identification and referral of problems and targeting an area of nursing that has not had much quality improvement focus to date.

The Commission is currently considering how the Thermometer might be adapted as a tool, with agreement in principle to scope implementation in district nursing, and the potential testing of the medication safety tool.

Follow the links below to presentations and videos from previous workshops and guidance for compiling quality accounts.


Last updated 18/05/2017