You may know that I’m a great fan of Jim Collins, particularly his book Good to Great. When he looked at what characterizes successful organisations, he observed that they rarely achieve overnight success. In actual fact, such organisations work hard over a long period of time in order to build up the momentum required for that leap to greatness. People may see an organisation taking off but that belies the huge amount of effort and hard work that has led up to that point.
And so it is with CM Health. I recently wrote to Professor Alan Merry, the Chair of the Healthy Quality and Safety Commission, to outline some of our latest results in terms of patient safety. I directed him towards four publications which highlight the good work happening here:
- our first ever Quality Accounts 2012/13
- our recent Connect+ double page spread on patient safety
- the latest issue of The Cutting Edge – news from Surgical and Ambulatory Care
- our 20,000 Days Campaign Wrap Up publication
In passing these on, I was struck by the way in which CM Health appears to have suddenly blossomed. Yet as we all know, that ‘blossoming’ hasn’t happened by accident. The success showcased in these publications is rooted in the can-do attitude and culture of Team Counties. It’s also important to recognize the early pioneering work done by the likes of Mary Seddon, Peter Gow and the Whai Manaaki team, which laid the solid foundation on which we have built more recent successes. I’d also like to acknowledge the role Ko Awatea has played in recent years. The Centre has been pivotal in helping spread and systematize our approach to improvement, as well as giving us all the space to think and reflect. Without a doubt it has helped us build the capability and capacity needed to make these changes and the many more that are yet to come.
I’d encourage you all to have a deeper look at this stunning set of reports. Here are some of the highlights:
- Our Emergency Department has hit 97% with Six Hours Can Be Ours since 2009
- Since redesigning how we work, we have increased productivity in Surgery by 80% in 7 years
- As in our Quality Accounts, we have an MRO infection rate of 0.1% per 1000 days
- Harm from falls has reduced to 1 per 1000 days
- Our Surgical unit has not had a CLAB infection for 3 years
- We have some of the highest standards of hand hygiene in the country
- Over 90% of heart attack patients get a Percutaneous Cardiac Intervention in our Emergency Department within 3 hours
- We have made great inroads with our Patient and Whaanau Centred Care workstream
- The 20,000 Days Campaign has saved over 23,000 days by redesigning 13 chronic disease pathways, and is now reviewing another 16
- We remain one of Australasia’s leading hospitals when it comes to hospital standardized mortality rates
Through these achievements, we have begun to show not only that we can work systematically to change patterns of demand on the hospital but also where some of the new battlegrounds are going to be, particularly around addressing poor levels of health literacy among patients (which drives increased demand, high cost and poor quality care).
All of the work is galvanized very simply in the idea that clinical quality is the only game in town. These improvements and achievements aren’t just an overnight blossoming but the result of many years of perseverance, hard work, capability building and relentless execution of excellence in order to be not just the best healthcare system in Australasia, but also the safest. The momentum we have built up is quite considerable and will serve us well as we strive to achieve even greater things in future.
With that in mind, our Chief Medical Officer, Dr Gloria Johnson, Director of Ko Awatea, Jonathon Gray and our Director of Nursing, Denise Kivell, are developing a new patient safety framework to look more deeply at the care we provide. We’ve also broadened our clinical leadership around patient safety through the appointment of four new Clinical Directors:
- Clinical Director for Patient Safety and Quality Assurance: Dr David Hughes
- Clinical Director for Infection Services: Dr David Holland
- Clinical Director for Medication Safety: Dr Chip Gresham
- Clinical Director for Patient and Whaanau Centred Care: Dr Peter Gow
Is all of this making the difference we want to see? As ever, the test for me is stopping to consider whether I would want to have a member of my family treated in our hospital. I’m extremely proud to say that the answer is a resounding yes and I thank each and every one of you for all you do to make that happen.
PS: My thanks to Dean Conger for his great suggestion to play patient health education videos on the TV screens in patient waiting rooms (in response to last week’s blog). I have asked our new Director Hospital Services, Phillip Balmer, to action this.