Media releases

September 3, 2006

Wolper Jewish hospital leads way in delivering safer health outcomes

Wolper Jewish Hospital has launched a new initiative, thanks to the support of Medibank Private, to address one of the priority areas for action in Australian healthcare - the management of medication for patients during and after their hospital stay.

Rates of adverse drug reactions associated with hospitalisation in people aged 60 years and over have more than doubled since 1991 according the Australian Council for Safety and Quality in Health Care - this is a big issue in healthcare and Wolper Jewish Hospital is committed to further improve how it is managed.

Wolper Jewish Hospital has been awarded $30,000 through the Medibank Safety and Clinical Improvement Incentive Pool, set up to support private hospitals to improve quality and safety.

At a presentation ceremony held at the hospital today, Medibank praised Wolper Jewish Hospital's commitment to lifting the standards of patient safety and quality and for leading the industry in improving the safety and quality of healthcare for members.

The hospital will use the grant to implement a multi-disciplinary approach to optimising medication usage in private hospitals. The hospital's pharmacy service, Basgers Pharmacy, will develop a tool to detect, treat and prevent adverse drug events during a patient's stay and after discharge.

"Improving the management of medication and consequently reducing the risk of adverse drug reactions in patients can be achieved with strategies such as improving the collection of information from patients, and improving the provision of clear information to patients," said Wolper Jewish Hospital CEO, Mr Harry Aizenberg.

"We believe our initiative will go to great lengths to solve some of the current problems with medication management.

"We are grateful to have Medibank Private's support to move forward with this initiative," Mr Aizenberg said.

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

Medibank' Private's Hospital Contract Manager, Slade Logan said, the incentive pool allows us to work with private hospitals, like Wolper Jewish Hospital, to reduce the risk of adverse events and encourage innovation and best practice in clinical care in Australian private hospitals.

"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," Mr Logan went on to say.

"We want better health outcomes for our members and the incentive pool forces us to do more than just talk about improving quality and safety.

"We are assisting hospitals to be more innovative, to lift the bar on current standards.

"It's simple really - we want the best health outcomes for our members, we asked hospitals how they could do this, they told us and we are helping them make it a reality," he said.

� Close to $1 million available for funding
� 34 hospitals across Australia were successful in their application
� Total value of approved proposals is $907,488
� Major areas of innovation of applications included:
 Falls prevention and management
 Improving management of medication
 Discharge and re-admission planning
 Improving patient communication and education
� A pool of $1 million will be available for distribution in 2007.

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

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