Safety in Practice is celebrating the end of its third year this month, with 41 practices actively taking part in the programme and seven care bundles – evidence-based interventions to improve patient outcomes – being used to increase patient safety in primary care.
“One in 20 admissions to hospital is due to adverse drug reactions.Sixty-seven per cent of these admissions are thought to be preventable.”
Safety in Practice focuses on reducing preventable harm to patients in primary care and developing approaches to improving safety. The areas of focus include medication safety, results handling, practice systems and culture. According to Safety in Practice clinical lead Dr Vikas Sethi, from Counties Manukau Health, the aim is to embed the successful interventions in general practices so that they are part of business as usual.
Dr Michael Jenkins, from participating practice Swanson Medical Centre, highlights the critical importance of applying best practices. “We are constantly worrying about people, medical conditions, our incompetency, ordering the right tests, getting the right diagnosis. We are always living under the strain of a potential mistake. There is a security that we get from having best practice.”
Dr Nua Tupai, from Bader Drive Healthcare, believes that “the programme gave us an opportunity to think differently. Now we focus on a process.”
“Safety in Practice processes now permeate our practice. Over our three year journey, our adherence to quality improvement processes has strengthened and our knowledge of quality improvement processes has incredibly enhanced,” says Mary Baldwin, general manager at Apollo Medical.
According to Dr Mark Arbuckle, from Otara Family and Christian Health Centre, “the Safety in Practice programme enables you to do something that you may have struggled to achieve before.”
Nurses have also been involved and upskilled during the programme so that they are now able to work closer to the doctor and help improve safety for patients. Lapoulo (Lou) Ikavuka, practice nurse at Otara Family and Christian Health Centre, says she feels she can help doctors better now. “Since we started the programme, we are more confident in performing new tasks.”
Dr Neil Houston, clinical director for quality and safety in primary care at Waitemata DHB believes Safety in Practice has the potential to spread to all GP practices and community pharmacies in New Zealand. “I congratulate all practices involved. They have made huge amounts of changes that will benefit their patients and team. The rewards are enormous – better team work, better culture, staff take on new roles, people get greater professional satisfaction, and you have the confidence that your systems are safe and reliable – good for you and fantastic for your patients.”
Learning session three – This week, participants in the Safety in Practice programme gathered at Ko Awatea for a learning session led by Dr Vikas Sethi. During the event there was rich discussion amongst practices around all seven care bundles, patient experience, along with highlights and shared learnings. Improvement advisor Ian Hutchby also led an interactive session where he explained how to embed successful care bundles into daily activities in practices. To mark the end of the third year of Safety in Practice, the session finished with the distribution of ten certificates to practices that have completed three years in the programme, and the granting of awards.
Do you want to participate? Expressions of interest are now open online for practices interested in participating in the fourth year of the programme. Visit www.safetyinpractice.co.nz to fill out an expression of interest.
Watch the Safety in Practice journey at https://vimeo.com/220902584
About Safety in Practice – The aim of the programme is to create a consistent approach to enhancing the quality improvement capability of GPs within the Auckland region by focusing on patient safety. The programme’s key objectives are to:
- augment the capacity and capability of quality improvement and patient safety methods and processes;
- improve and develop GP practice systems and processes to ensure critical, high-risk processes are carried out safely and reliably;
- prevent or reduce harm and improve the quality of care for patients with chronic conditions through safer and better management of medications; and
- promote a culture of safety.
Visit the Safety in Practice website to find out more.