Over 100 GPs, practice nurses and practice managers from across Auckland came together for the Safety in Practice learning session in early November.
Safety in Practice clinical lead Dr Vikas Sethi hosted the evening as over 40 general practices shared their experience over the past few months of conducting audits and carrying out Plan-Do-Study-Act cycles.
Guest speaker Scottish patient safety expert Neil Houston gave an overview of the Safety Climate Survey and the Trigger Tool – two devices available to help practices improve their safety standards.
Ko Awatea improvement advisor Ian Hutchby presented a detailed account of the Safety Climate Survey. Mr Hutchby explained the survey is designed to show participating practices how they compare to a baseline of 74 New Zealand practices. It looks at categories of communication, workload, leadership, teamwork, safety systems and learning, and how these might impact overall patient safety.
The Trigger Tool is a simple checklist to enable general practices to screen their notes for any potentially avoidable patient harm, Dr Sethi told attendees, adding that harm is defined as unintended physical injury resulting from the care provided. A concise video explaining the Trigger Tool process was well received by practices and will shortly be available on the Safety in Practice website. http://koawatea.co.nz/project/safety-in-practice/
Counties Manukau Health’s chief medical advisor for primary care Campbell Brebner also spoke at the event.
“What we’re trying to do here is increase the quality improvement capability across the board so that everybody can focus on being better all the time,” Dr Brebner said. “Our vision is to embed the culture of improvement in general practice.”
During the evening, general practice teams broke out into care bundle workshops focusing on the bundle areas of; medication reconciliation, cervical screening, COPD, opioids and warfarin and results handling. One practice, Greenstone Family Clinic in Manurewa, has developed its own bundle around cardiovascular disease.
Practices found the bundle break-out sessions of immense value, sharing from their storyboards in which they had captured their monthly data, change ideas, highlights and lowlights.
As part of the bundle breakout sessions, practices discussed how they could work with patients using questionnaires or structured interviews to understand how to improve patient experience. Ria Byron, Ko Awatea’s improvement advisor patient experience, Dr Sethi and PHO facilitators will be meeting with some practices over the coming months with a view to presenting back to the group at the next learning session on 30th March 2017.