Media releases

August 14, 2007

Rewarding quality and safety in NSW private hospitals

The private healthcare system in New South Wales is excelling, judging by the success of local hospitals at a function recognising safety and quality in healthcare held today in Sydney.
Six New South Wales private hospitals - Baringa Private Hospital, Canada Bay Private, Newcastle Private Hospital, St George Private Hospital, St Vincent's Private Hospital - Darlinghurst and Wesley Private Hospital - were rewarded for their innovation and commitment to quality and safety with a Medibank Private Safety and Clinical Improvement grant at the event.
More than $1 million has been allocated by Medibank Private to hospitals around Australia this year, with New South Wales hospitals receiving a total of over $165,000 to fund quality and safety projects. In the last two years Medibank Private has provided $1.9 million in funding for 73 quality and safety projects across Australia.
The grants are designed to help hospitals fund targeted projects identified by hospitals as making a tangible difference to patient safety and clinical quality, such as St Vincent's Private Hospital, Darlinghurst which was allocated a grant of $30,096 for its proposal to undertake a Medication Safety Project 2006-2008.
St Vincent's Private Hospital Clinical Risk Manager, Ingrid Tartu, said the benefits of the project will be felt by all hospital users.
"In relation to quality and safety, the area of medication safety is paramount. Patients are on ever more medications often with complex interactions.
"During their hospitalisation the management of their medications is a multi disciplinary activity that requires excellence in teamwork. Our project aims to identify areas for improvement in all aspects of medication management through the development of an improved medication documentation process.
"We are delighted with the support provided by Medibank Private and the benefits that this innovation will bring to our patients," Ms Tartu said.
Medibank Private's National Group Manager for 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's inspiring 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 Private is proud to be working with hospitals to improve health outcomes, not just for our members, but for everyone." Ms Andrews said.
Importantly, 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.

For further information please contact:
James Connors - T. (03) 8622 5163 or 0433 992 677

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