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About the award

Providing world-class clinical care where patient safety comes first is a key priority for NSW Health. NSW Health has a shared vision that patient safety is everybody’s business. This award acknowledges a commitment to putting Patient Safety First every day.

Projects within this category will display Patient Safety First in:

  • leading quality improvement to ensure safer patient care
  • delivering innovative approaches to improving patient safety
  • engaging patients in approaches to improve patient safety
  • demonstrating leadership or role modelling behaviour that puts patient safety first. 

​​​Winner - ​Southern NSW Local Health District: Keeping pregnant women safe and close to home


Transcript - Winner - Keeping pregnant women safe and close to home

Finalist - Clinical Excellence Commission: Setting the gold standard in infection prevention and control during the pandemic


Transcript - Setting the gold standard in infection prevention and control during the pandemic

In the second year of the global pandemic, the need for innovative and robust state-wide infection prevention and control strategic response remains a key priority.

Under Kathy Dempsey's leadership, CEC’s HAI team have developed a comprehensive range of COVID-19 IPAC resources setting clear clinical guidelines for the NSW Health community. They provide consistent and timely responses to requests for COVID-19 advice and expertise at all levels of care.

Throughout the pandemic, the team provided expertise in infection control across a wide range of state, interstate and federal committees and consultations, including as clinical lead for the NSW Health Infection Prevention and Control Community of Practice, and a member of the NSW Clinical Council.

Finalist - NSW Health Pathology: Connecting clinicians and patients pathology test results in ‘real time’


Transcript - Connecting clinicians and patients pathology test results in ‘real time’

The challenge – turn potential into reality, in a large complex public hospital system with intermittent connectivity at some sites, and which requires robust data security.

The solution – a team of experts from NSW Health Pathology’s Information and Communication Technology, Point of Care Technology and DevOps collaborating with leading digital innovators from Siemens, Microsoft, Dius and NewieVentures. The team applied the technology behind smart light bulbs, smart houses, and air conditioners to a medical setting.

The result – an innovative Pathway Internet of Things (IoT) Diagnostic Pipeline that delivers a world first in open diagnostic equipment connectivity. The IoT solution improves patient care by enabling clinicians’ access to information in real time, to shape care plans that achieve faster, better outcomes for patients.

The IoT solution is ground-breaking, connecting a growing number of Point of Care (PoC) diagnostic pathology devices across 200 NSW hospitals, many of which have previously had intermittent connectivity.

While piloting the IoT solution in clinical settings in six NSW hospitals, the team also piloted it’s use in another world first, the Proactive Sepsis Management Project. Here it was used to help with faster identification of the risk of sepsis, a serious, deadly infection, in emergency departments.

Finalist - Southern NSW Local Health District: Keeping pregnant women safe and close to home


Transcript - Keeping pregnant women safe and close to home

The aim of implementing quantitative fetal fibronectin (fFN) testing was to improve women’s safety as a key priority and reduce unnecessary preterm transfers to tertiary maternity facilities.

The world-class technology enables clinicians to predict the likelihood of a preterm birth occurring within seven days of testing. The testing aimed to reduce the maternal transfer rate by 50% within a year, however that was exceeded within the first four months.

Our process involved Executive endorsement to initiate quantitative fFN testing across all maternity services in the LHD. There was a coordinated rollout to implement testing in late 2020. Staff received education, resources, and equipment.

Key outcomes achieved included:

  • 79% reduction of women with threatened preterm labour being transferred to a tertiary facility.
  • Use and compliance with the Patient Flow Portal from 0 to 76% in six months.

By engaging women with this care, they can stay safely in their rural communities with their families. The prevention of unnecessary family disruption enables women to be supported in their local communities from the mountains to the sea, to have healthy pregnancies and grow their babies longer.

SNSWLHD is the first in our tiered Maternity Network to implement quantitative fFN across all rural maternity services.

Honourable Mention - South Western Sydney Local Health District: Managing patients with challenging behaviours in hospital

The SWSLHD Behavioural Assessment and Observation Form (BAOF) is an outcome of the SWSLHD Feeling safe in ED (FSIED). Redesign project (2017).

This project identified a critical need to improve and standardise the care of mental health patients in the Emergency Departments (ED) and was a key outcome from consumer engagement.

Data from SWSLHD demonstrated high rates of aggression towards staff, increased absconding from clinical areas and high rate of using security specialists at a significant cost to the LHD. A concurrent gap analysis also identified deficiencies in managing patients care needs and use of restraint.

An innovative plan was developed which included drafting an observation form to standardise care of mental health patients in the ED. This progressed to form the foundation for the current BAOF with the aim to address inconsistencies with care, manage risk and monitor patterns of behaviour for all patients demonstrating challenging behaviours.

The project outcome has improved risk assessment and monitoring of patients with behavioural challenges, comprehensive patient centred care delivery, empowered staff with risk assessing, de-escalating challenging behaviours and changing clinical practice across the District.

The innovation is currently being considered by the Agency for Clinical Innovation and eHealth for a state-wide implementation.

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