Boost for surgical simulator; treatment injury data updated


Released 03/05/18

We’re committing another $4.8 million to ensure the highly successful surgical simulation training programme NetworkZ (previously known as MORSim) is rolled out to all District Health Boards (DHBs) by 2021.

NetworkZ uses surgical mannequins to replicate operating theatre situations designed to help surgical teams develop better teamwork to improve patient safety.

Initial funding of $4.8 million will see 10 DHBs across the country using NetworkZ by the middle of this year, and Mike Tully, our Chief Customer Officer, says rolling it out to all DHBs will put New Zealand at the forefront of healthcare training.

“There is strong evidence of the benefits of good team training in the healthcare sector, but up to now it is not something that’s being systematically implemented at a national level.  We’re delighted to be supporting such an important initiative,” says Mike Tully.

New treatment injury data

The funding boost comes as we release the second edition of our treatment injury data publication, covering the five years up to 30 June 2017. A treatment injury occurs when a patient is inadvertently harmed during the course of their healthcare treatment.

The publication, released in conjunction with Ministry of Health and the Health Quality and Safety Commission, has been expanded to include data from New Zealand’s 38 private surgical hospitals. It also covers three more injury areas: equipment failures, all surgical mesh-related injuries, and treatment omission – where injury was caused by a failure to provide treatment, or a failure to do so in a timely manner.

Mike Tully says the health sector’s response to last year’s data publication was gratifying.

“We’ve had positive feedback about the useful insights the data is providing clinicians and their managers. The intent of publishing our data is to allow the health sector to learn from treatment injuries, so we can work together to make them less likely to occur in the future.

“For example, Hutt Valley DHB noted an increase in infections from the most common medical device used: peripheral intravenous lines. As a result, they developed a new approach which has led to treatment improvements, and is now available to all hospitals.”

Greater focus on patient safety

Dr Peter Robinson, our Chief Clinical Advisor, says a greater focus on patient safety across New Zealand has also increased awareness of treatment injuries, and led to more reporting. However the rates of patient harm here are comparable to other countries.

“This year’s publication shows there were 9,900 accepted treatment injury claims in 2016/17, which will have a lifetime cost of $602 million to ACC. Just over 57% occurred in public hospitals, which treat more than 1.1 million cases a year. Private hospitals account for 13%, and the rest occur in general practice or other health settings.

“The figures are pretty similar to last year’s data, but that is to be expected. Although several new injury prevention initiatives have started in the past 12 months, it is still too soon to expect to see the impact of these on injury rates.”

Mr Tully says our five-year $45 million investment in treatment injury prevention is part of a commitment to deliver better outcomes for New Zealanders.

“Injury prevention is one of our core functions. Working in partnership with DHBs, private  hospitals, and health experts, we’ve developed a range of programmes targeting the types of treatment injuries that are high frequency, high cost, or both.”

Supporting treatment safety

Supporting patient safety 2018 report

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