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Wide Bay Health achieves positive results

Gin Gin Hospital has won a prestigious pathology award.
Gin Gin Hospital has won a prestigious pathology award.

Wide Bay Hospital and Health Service has demonstrated its ongoing commitment to safety and accountability, with its latest Quality of Care Report highlighting a range of indicators that continue to meet or exceed state performance benchmarks.

The 2018-19 Quality of Care Report is WBHHS’s fifth publication of its kind, and forms part of its commitment to increase community awareness, strengthen health service accountability and drive quality improvement.

The latest report – which includes some extra measures such as Hospital-Acquired Complications – details the standard of care provided to patients across a wide range of performance and quality measures, providing transparent results against Queensland standards.

Among the highlights of the report are:

  • 88% of complaints resolved within 35 calendar days, which is well above the Queensland Health benchmark of 80% and the WBHHS goal of 85%. This has risen from 67% in 2016-17.
  • A decrease in the rate of falls incidents from 0.9% to 0.6% year on year.
  • A surge in the rate of discharge summaries finalised within 48 hours, from 33% in 2017018 to 89% in 2018-19. This clinical handover document gives patients, carers and GPs with vital information about their time in hospital and about what is needed for their ongoing care.
  • A maximum Category 3 elective surgery wait time of 156 days across Wide Bay for the 2018-19 year, with some specialties as low as 50 days (gynaecology) and 54 days (urology). These are all well within Queensland Health benchmark of 365 days.
  • Exceeding the Queensland Health benchmark of 80% for patients having an emergency length of stay of no more than four hours. This figure displays whether patients are being discharged home or admitted as an inpatient in a timely manner.
  • A Mental Health 28-day re-admission rate of 7.7%, well under the Queensland Health benchmark of 12% or less and an improvement on previous years (10.8% in 2016-17 and 9% in 2017-18).
  • An increased clinical incident closure rate, including 83% of SAC 1 incidents closed within 90 days – well above the Queensland Health benchmark of 70%. This indicates incidents are being investigated in a timely manner to ensure services can further improve.

Wide Bay Hospital and Health Board Chair Peta Jamieson said the Quality of Care Report was an important tool to analyse the service’s performance, identify how to drive continual improvement for patients and help boost public confidence in WBHHS’s standards of care.

“The Quality of Care Report is part of our commitment to communicate openly about how WBHHS is doing, and to help our community make informed choices about their own health care,” Ms Jamieson said.

“The report not only reveals nation-leading elective surgery performance, but captures the broader picture of how WBHHS is delivering safer, quality treatment to patients each and every day.

“While it’s sometimes easy to express a health service’s performance through the narrow lens of waiting time performance, in reality our care is much broader than that – and a great deal of work goes on to ensure patients have the best possible outcome and experience.

“The Quality of Care Report, together with our consumer engagement processes, are key parts of getting the results for our patients that we’re all striving for as health providers.”

Acting Chief Executive Debbie Carroll said another important aspect of the report was its transparency about areas that WBHHS was working to improve, such as pressure injury incidents and discharges against medical advice.

“It’s important to continually assess our delivery of care and identify areas where we need to make improvements, which the Quality of Care Report helps us to do,” Ms Carroll said.

“We can also look back on previous reports and see where our actions have resulted in improvements, such as our discharge summaries – which improved from 33% finalised in 48 hours in 2017-18 to 89% in 2018-19.

“These discharge summaries are vital to providing patients and their carers with information about what care has been provided to them during their time with us and about what they and their general practitioner need to do when they return home.

“It’s also really pleasing that our emergency length of stay data shows a higher percentage of patients are being admitted as an inpatient or returned home within the Queensland Health benchmark of four hours, despite increased demand on our emergency departments.”

To see the entire report, go to https://www.health.qld.gov.au/widebay/quality-of-care/

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