Media releases

October 6, 2006

St Andrew's hospital leads way in delivering safer health outcomes

St Andrew's Hospital will today launch a new initiative, thanks to the support of Medibank Private, to undertake a study to find out if the number of falls experienced by patients can be reduced by screening before admission and education campaigns.

St Andrew's Hospital has been awarded a grant of $30, 000 from the Medibank Safety and Clinical Improvement Incentive Pool, set up to support private hospitals to improve quality and safety. Falls in hospitals, especially among the elderly, is a significant area of concern for health care practitioners.

At a presentation ceremony held at the hospital today, Medibank praised St Andrew's 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.

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, Eric Wirth said, the incentive pool allows us to work with private hospitals, like St Andrew's Hospital, to reduce the risk of adverse events and encourage innovation and best practice in clinical care in Australian private hospitals.

St Andrew's Hospital will use the grant to implement and evaluate the effectiveness of undertaking pre-admission screening of patients to identify those at risk of a fall and patient education once in hospital to reduce the risk of a fall occurring. The learnings from the study will be shared with other hospitals building on our understanding of effective falls prevention programs.

St. Andrew's Hospital Chief Executive Officer, Stephen Walker, said, "A fall at anytime can have serious consequences for a person. In hospital a fall can seriously impact on a patient's long term recovery.

"Thanks to Medibank Private we'll be undertaking a study into the effectiveness of two initiatives that aim to reduce the number of falls that occur. The learnings from this work will hopefully help hospitals and their patients across Australia," he said.

Mr Wirth went on to say, "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.

"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.

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

� Originally $500,000 was made available in 2006, but due to the quality of applications this increased to over $900,000.
� 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.

ENDS


For further information please contact:
Libby Woolnough - Medibank Private
T. (03) 8622 5181 or 0411 659 060
E: libby_Woolnough@medibank.com.au


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