Media releases

August 17, 2007

Rewarding quality and safety in SA private hospitals

Four South Australian private hospitals recognised as being amongst the best and most innovative in Australia have been rewarded with funding in a national quality and safety grants scheme.
Adelaide hospitals St Andrews Hospital, The Memorial Hospital, Flinders Private, along with Mount Gambier Private Hospital, have been rewarded for their innovation and commitment to quality and safety with a Medibank Private Safety and Clinical Improvement grant.
More than one million dollars has been granted by Medibank Private to hospitals around Australia this year, with South Australian hospitals receiving $118,000 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.
Medibank Private's 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, particularly in South Australia, 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.
"And its great to see some real innovation coming not just from the big, metropolitan hospitals, but also from some of the smaller regional facilities, such as Mount Gambier Private. It is this sort of commitment that is keeping Australia's private hospitals at the forefront of innovation and safety," Ms Andrews said.
The Mount Gambier Private Hospital project will enable patients to provide information on their own health prior to undertaking surgery via touch screen technology. 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.
Mount Gambier Private Chief Executive Officer Mr David Walshaw spoke about the hospital's commitment to patient safety and clinical quality.
"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.
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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