Media releases

September 27, 2006

Cabrini leads the way to safer hospitals

Treasurer Peter Costello today congratulated Cabrini Health and Medibank Private for working together to tackle one of the most urgent patient safety issues - patient falls in hospitals.

At a presentation ceremony held at the hospital today, local member for Higgins and Federal Treasurer Peter Costello, praised Medibank and Cabrini's commitment to lifting the standards of patient safety and quality.

Cabrini Health was awarded $30,000 through the Medibank Private Safety and Clinical Improvement Incentive Pool, set up by Medibank to improve quality and safety in private hospitals.

Cabrini chief executive officer Roger Greenman said that hospital falls are a major issue for patient safety and that older patients are particularly vulnerable.

"Thirty-eight per cent of all hospital incidents are related to falls," Mr Greenman said.

"They are the leading cause of injury in Australian hospitals, particularly for people over 85 years of age, often due to weakened muscles and visual defects prevalent in this age group. The risk of falling increases with age.

"As the number of older people continues to increase, falls in older adults will only increase as a major health issue worldwide.

"Falls can cause a range of injuries including: hip fractures; brain, spine and trunk injuries; and depression."

Earlier this year, Cabrini introduced the best practice guidelines for falls prevention and management, developed by the Australian Council for Safety and Quality in Health Care.

The Medibank funding will be used by the Cabrini-Deakin Centre for Nursing Research to monitor the impact of the falls prevention program and to modify procedures to improve patient care.

Cabrini's application to the incentive pool has been praised as one of the most outstanding in Australia, according to Medibank Private managing director, George Savvides.

"Medibank Private has dedicated more than $900,000 in funding to hospitals across Australia to improve patient care and clinical outcomes.

"Cabrini's submission to the Medibank incentive pool was certainly one of the most outstanding from a total of 84 submissions, of which 34 were awarded grants.

"When our members go to hospital, they rightfully expect to receive the very best treatment and care possible. Medibank and private hospitals such as Cabrini are working together to fulfil this expectation.

"Through the Medibank Private Safety and Clinical Improvement Incentive Pool, hospitals are supported to improve clinical outcomes through innovation and best practice.

"Medibank has had an overwhelming response from hospitals to take part in the incentive pool and we're very pleased that hospitals share our commitment to improving clinical outcomes."

FACTS ABOUT THE MEDIBANK PRIVATE SAFETY AND CLINICAL IMPROVEMENT INCENTIVE POOL:

� The incentive pool is a national program sponsored by Medibank Private to support private hospitals to improve safety and clinical outcomes for patients
� Applications for funding focussed on innovation in areas including:
o Falls management
o Medication management
o Discharge planning and re-admission
o Clinical innovation
o Improving use of patient-related information
� 84 submissions from hospitals across Australia were submitted to Medibank for funding consideration
� 34 hospitals received grants to a total value of $907,488
� A pool of $1 million will be available for distribution in 2007

ENDS
For further information please contact:
Libby Woolnough - Medibank Private
T. (03) 8622 5181 or 0411 659 060


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