Quality Health Care at the Heart

Published: 04 Dec 2016

A commitment to quality, by delivering patients a high standard of care is "at the heart" of what Hawke's Bay Health Award winners Royston Hospital do.

The hospital, which has been providing surgical healthcare to Hawke's Bay residents since 1921, received the BAND commitment to quality improvement and patient safety award last week.

Royston Hospital General Manager Denise Primrose said staff were "absolutely delighted" to be recognised - particularly in this category.

"The calibre of entries to the Health Awards raises the bar every year so this is a real thrill for us as a private surgical hospital provider," she said.

Delivering consistent high quality health care, managing the risks of providing health care, and reducing incidents of unintentional harm was "at the heart of what we do", Ms Primrose said.

Their award specifically recognised their work to ensure adherence to the patient code of rights in an age of personal mobile devices - which had been a priority.

"It's proactive work in this area that has resulted in an official guide on personal mobile device use and clinical images for the wider health sector," she said.

In 2014, the hospital's review of its consent forms had not reflected freely available technology, and the privacy implications of this technology for staff, patients and visitors.

A new consent framework for clinical photography had also been required.

So, with support from the Privacy Commissioner, Health Quality and Safety Commission, and the New Zealand Medication Association, staff had worked to develop and implement a best practice guideline.

Ms Primrose said this would ensure patients understood privacy implications within the hospital setting, and that medical specialists were practising within the legislation and understood ethical implications and their responsibilities in the digital age.

"With the implementation of a practical policy that supports the value of clinical photography, and an appropriate informed consent process, patients are treated with respect and receive a service from [Acurity Health Group] hospitals in a manner that has regard for their dignity, privacy and independence," said Ms Primrose.

"A patient's right to privacy and respect are maintained by ensuring clinical images are obtained, stored and shared according to the Health Information Privacy Code."

The initiative had been driven by the Royston Quality Committee team; however, as Royston is part of the Acurity Health Group of hospitals it had received wider input.