Whanganui Hospital celebrates Patient Safety Week

27 October 2015

Whanganui DHB staff will sport Hello stickers as part of Patient Safety Week celebrations next week.
“Let’s talk” with a focus on communication between health professionals, patients and families is the theme for this year’s Patient Safety Week led by the Health Quality & Safety Commission.
Between 1 – 7 November, posters and displays will ‘greet’ visitors to Whanganui Hospital and other health providers. And Whanganui Hospital’s main cafeteria will feature an open booth where staff will share their knowledge on subjects including falls prevention, preventing blood clots, advanced care planning and preventing infection.
Throughout the week, hospital staff will also introduce patients to a safety card, with advice on actions they can take to enhance their safety while in hospital. The cards will continue to be given out when Patient Safety Week ends.
WDHB patient safety and quality general manager Sandy Blake says while hospital staff work hard to ensure patients receive safe, quality healthcare, there are things we would like to encourage patients and their families to do to support their own safety. Examples might be using a walking aid when needed, doing simple leg and ankle exercises, washing hands and talking to their doctor, nurse or pharmacist if they have any concerns about their medicines.
“The card has important advice about things such as preventing falls, blood clots, pressure ulcers and infections,” Mrs Blake says. “A video adapted for New Zealand from resources used in England will be shown to patients.”
“The WDHB’s commitment to patients and families is that we strive to provide the best and safest care possible,” Mrs Blake says. “While the quality of the care we provide to patients is a daily concern, Patient Safety Week provides an opportunity to remind staff of the importance of open communication, and to talk about actions that help keep patients safe.”
At the same time, the WDHB will be encouraging people to have a think about their wishes for the healthcare and treatment they want towards the end of their life – even if having to make these decisions seems a long way off.

Resources available to help people think about, and complete, an advance care plan, including filling it out online can be found at: http://advancecareplanning.org.nz/assets/myACP-2014.pdf
Hello my name is…
During Patient Safety Week from 1-7 November, WDHB staff who have in direct contact with patients will wear ‘Hello my name is’ stickers featuring their name.
The ‘Hello’, ‘Kia ora’ or ‘Talofa lava, my name is’ stickers are being worn to put the spotlight on open communication between health professionals and patients. The stickers have been adapted from a campaign established by terminally ill UK doctor Kate Grainger, who noticed many medical staff treating her did not introduce themselves or say what they were going to do.
“Introducing yourself to a patient is much more than exchanging names,” WDHB director of nursing Sandy Blake says. “It’s about making a human connection and building trust. It sets the foundation for better communication about every aspect of a patient’s care. Because clear, two-way communication with patients and families is a priority in our DHB, we view the name stickers as a great reminder to staff.”