Media releases

November 26, 2006

Medibank incentive to Private Hospitals

Private hospitals around Australia are being called to further improve the standards of quality and safety they provide to patients.

The call is coming from Australia's largest health fund, Medibank Private, with the launch of the 2007 Medibank Private Safety and Clinical Improvement Incentive Pool.

Funding for the Incentive Pool, now in its second year, has increased to $1 million following the overwhelming success of the inaugural pool last year.

Medibank Private's Managing Director, George Savvides, who has been vocal about his commitment to work towards constantly improving the quality of healthcare in Australia, said he thought Australia has an outstanding healthcare system, but believed Medibank can support private hospitals fulfil their commitment to quality and safety and move from a great to an exceptional healthcare system.

"Medibank established the Incentive Pool as part of our commitment to work with our Members' Choice hospitals to improve clinical outcomes; reduce the risk of adverse events; and encourage innovation in patient safety.

"When our members go to hospital, they rightfully expect to receive the very best treatment and care possible.

"The Medibank Private Hospital Incentive Pool is what we can do to ensure this happens - we can support hospitals with funding to lift the bar on current standards, but the real clinical innovation comes from them," Mr Savvides said.

The 2007 Medibank Private Incentive Pool has identified priority areas for which funding will be allocated with the major focus being on optimising care and improving outcomes for members.

Other priorities for funding include initiatives that reduce the risk of adverse events and initiatives that work towards implementing the Medibank Private Quality and Safety requirements.

Medibank Private had an overwhelming response from hospitals to take part in the 2006 incentive pool with 84 applications and 34 successful hospitals receiving grants.

Funding in 2006 was granted to initiatives in the areas of falls management, medication management, discharge planning and re-admission, clinical innovation, and improving use of patient-related information.

Successful applicants to the pool are required to report on their initiative to Medibank including evaluation of the impact of the initiative.

Mr Savvides said that Medibank Private encouraged hospitals to share their results with the industry, the public, and Medibank Private members, saying the health fund would work with hospitals to share information as broadly as possible.

"We think we have a responsibility to take a leadership role in promoting quality and safety, in fact, on behalf of our nearly three million members, we must take a lead in this area," Mr Savvides said.


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

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