Surgical site infection pilot launched
The pilot for a new patient safety programme has been launched by the Health Quality and Safety Commission (HQSC), aimed at tackling surgical site infections (SSIs).
Eight DHBs across the country are participating in the pilot, which will be delivered jointly by Auckland and Canterbury DHBs, with the HQSC overseeing. Aside from Auckland and Canterbury, the DHBs involved are: Waitemata, Nelson Marlborough, Hawkes Bay, Capital and Coast, Hutt Valley and Bay of Plenty.
An announcement issued by the HQSC says: “The programme seeks to reduce infections following surgery through the development of sustainable quality improvement activities and a nationally consistent, evidence-based approach to the surveillance of SSIs.”
Dr Sally Roberts, chair of the SSI surveillance programme steering committee and clinical lead for the infection prevention and control programme at the HQSC, said that SSIs remain the second most common healthcare associated infection, occurring in 2-5% of patients undergoing surgical procedures.
Dr Roberts added: “Surgical site infections can cause emotional and financial stress, serious illness, longer hospital stays, long-term disabilities, and may even result in loss of life. The consequences for both health services, and most importantly the patient, mean that the prevention of surgical site infections is extremely important.
“By developing a national standardised approach to surveillance and feedback, healthcare professionals will have access to verifiable information that will allow them to drive quality improvements in clinical practice, contributing to national and international efforts to improve patient safety.”
Following the launch of the pilot in March, it is anticipated that a national roll-out will follow in July. The first year of the programme will focus on hip and knee surgeries.
Associate Health Minister Jo Goodhew said: “Quality and safety in the health system is extremely important to the government. We need to ensure New Zealanders received the best health and disability care within our available resources. That is why we established the Health Quality and Safety Commission in 2010.
“This new programme is one of three components of the Commission’s infection prevention and control work, which aims to improve patient safety by reducing the harm caused by healthcare associated infections.