By Prof Euan Wallace AM, CEO Safer Care Victoria
With the 2018–19 financial year now over it gives us a chance to reflect on our second full year of operation. We are an ambitious agency that – while still young – is keen to get on with delivering good health outcomes for Victorians.
In some areas we are succeeding and for the first time we can measure and share the impact of our work. In other areas we are not old enough to measure outcomes just yet. And where we haven’t delivered we will tell you why.
Projects that we run, fund and resource are starting to mature. We are excited to be able to show – if only for a small number of projects – that our work is saving lives, reducing harm and resulting in better experiences for patients, families and staff.
We look forward to sharing many more measures and outcomes in our 2018-19 Annual report next month and in future years as our work evolves.
We are getting better at measuring the outcomes of what we do
We are transitioning to ‘the model for improvement’, an internationally proven method for all our new projects and partnerships. This helps everyone involved speak the same language when talking of healthcare improvement. It will also help us show exactly how the work has made patients safer.
This takes time, but it is well underway, from Horsham to Traralgon, and Warrnambool to Shepparton. Now just one year into our four-year partnership with the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI), we have delivered training in improvement science and started two statewide collaboratives to reduce stillbirths and prevent harm from hospital acquired delirium.
There is still work to do
Our operating environment and core functions are still settling. Over the past year our jurisdiction expanded to include public residential aged care and community health services, and our clinical networks reached out to new areas of mental health and infection control.
New functions, more reactive reviews than expected and some ambitious goal setting meant that we failed to deliver some of our planned work for 2018–19. We’re not going to hide that. But we do promise to get better.
By the time we reach our new planning cycle in July 2020, we will be better armed with a new long-term strategy and a more visible roadmap for improvement.
Showing the link between leadership and safety
It can be difficult to show the connection between strong leadership at a health service and improved safety. We have delivered a new suite of leadership offerings with patient outcomes in mind so we can show you in future years.
Taking the lead on consumer participation
We are proud to be leading the way as we encourage health services and government to include patients, families and carers.
Last year, we became the first organisation to be recognised for gold star consumer participation, getting the #withconsumers accreditation from the Consumers Health Forum for the IHI-BMJ International Forum. And this year we became the first to get that same tick for a document, our new Partnering in healthcare framework.
This framework brings a whole new approach to the way consumers are involved in everything from direct patient care to statewide initiatives. And we have much lined up over the next year.
We didn’t do this alone
Thank you to the health services, the thousands of clinicians, and our vocal consumer network who all worked hard to deliver these results with us.
Thank you to the Minister for Health Jenny Mikakos MP for her guidance. Thank you to the members of our advisory groups, and to the independent boards and councils. Thank you to the many healthcare agencies we work closely with, particularly our colleagues in the department, the Victorian Agency for Health Information (VAHI), the Health Complaints Commissioner, the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency, the Coroners Court of Victoria and the Victorian Managed Insurance Authority.
And finally, thank you to our wonderful and dedicated staff.
I look forward to continuing our work together in 2019–20.