Patients and staff all have a part to play during Patient Safety Week

3 November 2014

Taranaki DHB is holding its first Patient Safety Week from Monday 3 to Sunday 9 November 2014.
Taranaki DHB Chief Operations Officer, Rosemary Clements said, “The quality of the care we provide to patients is our priority 52 weeks of the year, but during Patient Safety Week we will be reiterating to staff the importance of patient safety, and talking about simple things they can do to keep patients safe.”

“Our patients also have a role to play, and Patient Safety Week is about working with them to provide the best and safest care possible, every time,” said Mrs Clements.

One of the themes during the week is the ‘Let’s PLAN for better care’ initiative. “PLAN is about helping patients prepare well for their next visit to a healthcare provider. This includes asking questions to help them understand their treatment – why they are having it, their choices, what will happen and the risks and benefits,” said Mrs Clements.

“We will also be encouraging patients to help keep themselves safe and provide them with information about surgical safety, medication safety, falls prevention and hand hygiene.”

“One of the surgical safety messages for the week is ‘nil by mouth means exactly that, don’t eat, chew gum or drink’,” said Mrs Clements. “Before surgery patients are given clear instructions about when to stop eating and drinking - it is very important they follow these as not doing so may mean their surgery is delayed or postponed.”

“Medication safety messages include making sure patients understand their medications, and if they don’t to ask their doctor or nurse - as well as to keep a list of the medicines they’re taking, the reasons they’re taking them and when and how to take them.”

From Monday 3 November there will be a display in the main entrance of Base Hospital that includes a Patient Safety Week information booth, life-size cut-out and a living room display where people can identify hazards which could potentially cause a fall to win a prize.

“Most falls happen at home and through our living room display we will be encouraging people to make their homes as safe as possible, and fix or change things that may cause slips, trips or falls,” said Mrs Clements.

“Strength and balance exercises can also help to prevent falls and keep people on their feet. Everyone is invited to join in the Tai Chi sessions on the lawn near the Base Hospital main entrance on Monday 3 and Thursday 6 November at 12.30pm.”

“Mini bottles of hand sanitizer will be given away at the Base Hospital main entrance throughout the week. As most of us know, cleaning our hands is the best way to prevent the spread of harmful germs. ”

“Fortune cookies containing patient safety messages will also be available on the booth throughout the week, injecting a bit of fun into sharing the patient safety messages,” said Mrs Clements.

A Patient Safety Week information booth and life-size cut-out will also be available in the Hawera Hospital main entrance. People will able to enter the living room hazards competition using photos of the Base Hospital living room display.

Mrs Clements added “Health care is demanding and the Taranaki DHB has very competent and professional people working hard to provide safe, high-quality health care and to continually improve patient safety, and we want everyone to get behind and support Patient Safety week.”

Taranaki DHB staff will be encouraged to share patient safety messages with fun activities like a medication safety limerick competition, scavenger hunt and a Patient Safety Week morning tea. The hospital management team will help also help spread messages with a walk around the wards and departments.  

Patient Safety Week is being held nationally, co-ordinated by the Health Quality & Safety Commission.


For further information please contact:
Cressida Gates-Thompson, Media Advisor, 027 703 6177


Last updated: Wednesday, November 5, 2014

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