20 Sep 2012

Govt seeks to improve patient safety

3:22 pm on 20 September 2012

The Government is to launch a national patient safety campaign to reduce harm to patients in hospital and elsewhere.

The campaign was announced by an associate health minister, Jo Goodhew, at a conference on quality and safety in health in Auckland on Thursday.

Ms Goodhew told about 900 conference delegates the campaign will focus on reducing harm from falls and from healthcare associated infections, surgery and medication.

It is to begin early next year and will involve tracking progress with quality and safety markers.

Ms Goodhew says a national programme introduced in 2011 has already reduced the number of patients who get infections from tubes inserted in major veins to deliver medicines and nutrition.

She says there has not been a central line infection in many intensive care units for more than 100 days, and the initiative has saved up to $1.5 million.