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    Melissa Sweet

    Melissa Sweet

    Prue Power, Executive Director, Australian Healthcare & Hospitals Association sent this comment: Australia’s health system is safe by world standards but far too many Australians are still harmed in the process of receiving medical care. As the peak body for public hospitals (and other public health services) AHHA believes that any mistake within a hospital is one too many. That is why we have been working with experts, hospital managers and clinicians to develop policy proposals which will make Australia’s hospitals the safest in the world.
    One of the first things that we need to do to improve hospital safety is to measure the current performance of health services and make this information widely available. Unless hospitals know how they are performing against set standards they can’t act effectively to improve their outcomes.
    The good news is that this can happen relatively quickly – we already collect much of the necessary data – we just need to ensure it is readily accessible (in an appropriate risk-adjusted format) so that health services can use it to improve their performance. We also need to develop and implement a nationally consistent set of key performance indicators that allows funders, health services and the community to assess the performance (again, appropriately risk adjusted) of health services nation-wide. This is an important step towards improving overall quality and safety of health care.
    These proposals are part of AHHA’s comprehensive policy paper Data and Benchmarking’. AHHA has provided this paper to government, along with other practical and cost-effective proposals for health system reform, and we are hopeful that its recommendations will be adopted as part of an overall commitment to reducing errors within our health system.

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