Media releases

August 16, 2007

Project allows patients to be hands-on at local private hospital

There is good news for Mount Gambier and district residents with Mount Gambier Private Hospital being recognised nationally for its innovation and commitment to patient quality and safety.
The hospital has received a $28,000 grant from the Medibank Private Safety and Clinical Improvement Incentive Pool to fund a facility designed to allow patients to use computing technology to assist medical and nursing staff in planning their hospital treatment.
The project, developed in partnership with the Royal Adelaide Hospital and the University of Adelaide, uses touch screen technology to enable patients to provide information on their health prior to undertaking surgery. Computer analysis of this information is then used to provide medical and nursing staff with a summary of relevant health issues, enabling better management of the procedure.
At a presentation ceremony held at the hospital today, Mount Gambier Private Chief Executive Officer Mr David Walshaw spoke about the hospital's commitment to patient safety and clinical quality.
"Our commitment to safety and quality underpins all aspects of clinical practice. Pre-operative assessment for anaesthesia and surgery is an area where significant improvements in the quality of healthcare can be made, potentially delivering shorter recovery times, less adverse events and better patient outcomes.
"The Hospital has been conducting pre-anaesthetic assessments for many years on patients with co-morbidities, but now for the first time we will be utilising consumer involvement and participation in healthcare planning through the greater use of on-line technology.
"Ultimately we hope information will be available at point of care, irrespective of where that care is delivered in the hospital, enabling clinicians to access the most up to date patient data available," Mr Walshaw said.
Mount Gambier Private hospital is one of 38 private hospitals Australia-wide to receive funding from Medibank Private in support of quality and safety initiatives. Four other South Australian private hospitals were also recognised with an Incentive Pool grant this year, with Mount Gambier the only regional hospital in the State. The other hospitals included Flinders Private, St Andrew's Hospital Inc and the Memorial Hospital.
Over one million dollars has been granted by Medibank Private to hospitals around Australia this year, with South Australian hospitals receiving a total of almost $124,885 to fund quality and safety projects. In the last two years Medibank Private has provided $1.9 million to fund 73 quality and safety initiatives.
Medibank Private's Group Manager of Health Services, Julie Andrews, praised the local projects as being of a particularly high standard.
"Quality and safety is emerging as the number one issue in Australian health care so it is great that local private hospitals are now being recognised for their effort and innovation.
"Australia has some of the best quality hospital care in the world, but there is always room for improvement, and improvement and innovation should be supported. Medibank is proud to take a leadership role in this area."
The lessons learned from the various quality and safety projects funded over the last two years will be shared throughout the health sector, extending the value of individual projects far beyond the hospitals in which they are run.
ENDS
For further information please contact:
James Connors
T. (03) 8622 5163 or 0433 992 677 E: james_connors@medibank.com.au


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