“First do no harm” is the first rule of medicine, and it is also the foundation of Bundaberg’s Friendly Society Private Hospital’s award winning Zero Harm program.
The hospital is the inaugural winner of the Australian Private Hospitals Association (APHA) Awards for Excellence category in comprehensive care, recognising its commitment to coordinated delivery of the total health care required by a patient.
Association chief executive Michael Roff said the program was another example of private hospitals engaging with staff, patients, carers and families to achieve positive patient outcomes.
The Zero Harm initiative is a cultural change program aimed at hard-wiring a culture of accountability across the hospital by focusing on strategic and operational goals that strive for zero harm of patients and improving quality of care.
With all staff, regardless of position, working towards an agreed set of common goals, it enables measurement and monitoring of successes and areas of improvement.
“As the hospital measures its results, it also acknowledges and celebrates its success, which serves to engage and motivate staff and reward them for their focus and effort.”
Data on the success of the program is available on the hospital’s website and the MyHospitals website.
The Friendlies have seen a significant increase in patient satisfaction. Their Press Ganey scores have increased from 87 percent in 2012 to 93 percent in 2019, while a 2018 Medibank Private patient experience survey showed 100 percent of patients who had stayed overnight at the hospital would recommend it to others.
The hospital has achieved a change in culture that engages with staff and patients in the delivery of care and improving communication so patients experience excellent comprehensive care.
Mr Roff said the Friendlies was a great example of a private hospital taking initiatives in staff communication and education to improve the hospital environment for patients.
“Private hospitals are able to respond directly to the needs of their community. This example of the Friendlies creates a personalised model of care, with patients at the centre of care,” he said.
The judging panel comprised:
- Tony Lawson, Chair, Consumer Health Forum
- Adjunct Professor Debora Picone AO, CEO, Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care
- Michael Roff, CEO, Australian Private Hospitals Association
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