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The bigger picture: How 100,000 Lives fits in our improvement story

Published 20/04/2022

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100,000 lives is an ambitious goal but as Safer Care Victoria’s CEO Prof Mike Roberts explains, it’s only part of the story of healthcare improvement in Victoria.

Photograph of Mike Roberts, Safer Care Victoria's CEO, looking confidently into the camera

100,000 lives. It’s a great goal to have.

But it’s only part of an incredible story of healthcare improvement in Victoria.

In the six years since sweeping reforms changed the way Victoria delivers safe, high-quality care, Safer Care Victoria has led or supported more than 100 improvement projects in partnership with Victorian health services, clinicians and consumers.

These range from targeted local improvements – such as providing equipment and training to GPs in Hamilton to help them diagnose COPD more accurately – to new statewide care models, like the streamlined provision of ECMO for the state’s most critically ill.

These projects have provided measurable benefits to Victorian patients, and their families and support networks. Take our Better Births Collaborative.

Together with 14 maternity services, we prevented severe perineal tearing for 155 women. That’s 155 women who had a much better experience of childbirth and not the debilitating, long-term complications of third- and fourth-degree tears.

At every step we are looking to prevent harm and tackle unnecessary variation in care. But the benefits don’t end there.

Through our projects, partnering sites have recorded fewer emergency department presentations and intensive care unit admissions, reduced patient travel and ambulance transfers, and shorter hospital stays. This all adds up. In fact, our three-year program to fund 21 innovative projects resulted in at least $58.9 million in system savings.

And there’s the individual benefits for those who work with us. People involved in our projects gain a good understanding of how to run and sustain improvement in hospitals. There are now more than 700 Victorian healthcare workers and consumers who are trained in the internationally proven Model for Improvement.

We want every health service across the state to join 100,000 Lives, so we can test and apply evidence-based and data-driven solutions with you. Each initiative was selected because the data told us that improvements in care were needed for consumers. And because we have evidence from research and clinical guidelines that tells us what good quality care should be.

Together we will share the lessons of what worked and what didn’t with everyone in the health system. ‘Learning health networks’ are the key to this. The SCV COVID-19 Learning Health Network is already up and running. In the future, we will expand on this to connect more of you around what we see as our three biggest strategic priorities of mental health, maternity and cardiovascular. While many of our 100,000 Lives initiatives respond to these – for example, our Heart Failure Collaborative and The Whole Nine Months, our work here has only just begun.

100,000 Lives is a significant change in how our health system operates – supporting doctors, nurses, allied health professionals and their managers to deliver a number of proactive initiatives before more problems appear. A key part of our approach is to shift the relationship between the clinician and the consumer to one in which we partner together to better understand how we can make the care given and received the best it can be.

Our ambition is to impact 100,000 lives, and we need every part of the health system working together with us to achieve this.

Join us and be part of 100,000 Lives and our broader improvement journey to achieve better, safer care for all Victorians.

If you are reading this as a clinician, a manager or a consumer representative, ask your hospital team if they are involved already in 100,000 Lives. And if not, get them involved!

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