In Health

Victoria Health Minister David Davis

New Management System To Enhance Patient Safety

Victor P Taffa

Victorian Health Services will be contributing to better outcomes for all patients with the new Victorian Health Incident Management System now fully operational.

Victorian Health Minister David Davis said the new system would deliver greater quality and safety as well as a depth of reporting into incidents which could potentially result in harm to patients.

“Improving health outcomes for patients is a key focus of the Baillieu Government and we have now made fully operational a new management tool which will help to deliver better safety and higher quality services for Victorian patients.”

“We want to better monitor these types of incidents so they can be reduced to a minimum and we can improve patient care.” Mr. Davis said.

“There is a real need to do better in this area.”

“The Victorian Health Incident Management System (VHIMS) is an important tool for collating, analysing and identifying trends and is a useful and important step forward in reporting errors and sentinel events.” Mr. Davis said.

“We want to encourage every health practitioner to report any errors which occur within the hospital setting.”

“That way we can maximise the base of information available for analysis and deal with problems as they emerge.”

“Health services will have the ability to undertake analysis and trending of their own incident data. They will also be able to reap the benefits of utilising a standardised methodology for recording the degree of harm for a person affected in an incident.” Mr. Davis said.

The VHIMS will allow a greater depth of reporting across all levels of incidents, rather than just those deemed as ‘sentinel’.

A sentinel event is defined as a relatively infrequent, clear-cut adverse event that occurs independently of a patient’s condition, commonly reflecting hospital system and process deficiencies, and resulting in unnecessary outcomes for the patient.

VHIMS data will provide the capacity for lessons learned within one organisation to be shared with others. A key component of VHIMS will be the delivery of effective information sharing mechanisms so that health services can benefit from analysis of statewide data.

Previously, only a wide range of high severity incidents that impacted on patients was being reported to the Department. The VHIMS will provide a mechanism to report and pool lower severity clinical incident data from across the state in a standardised way.

The VHIMS statewide roll-out has been completed with full implementation now in place. Sources of VHIMS data collection include:

  • All Victorian public health services;
  • 39 registered community health centres;
  • Ambulance Victoria;
  • Royal District Nursing Service;
  • Ballarat District Nursing and Healthcare;
  • 14 bush nursing centres;
  • Forensicare;
  • 5 Incorporated Residential Aged Care Services.

All these agencies are required to send de-identified clinical incident data to the Department of Health for aggregation and analysis.

It is envisaged analysis of the statewide aggregate incident data will enable the Department to better target future quality improvement and patient safety initiatives in Victorian publicly-funded health services.

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