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Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care

Summer 2019 eNews

In this issue

First national healthcare variation conference

Better Care Everywhere: Healthcare variation in practice

How does variation in health care affect appropriateness of care and impact patient outcomes?

The Better Care, Everywhere: Healthcare variation in practice conference will answer these questions and more over two days in the first national event dedicated to reducing unwarranted healthcare variation across Australia.

Whether you are a frontline clinician, a health leader, a policy maker or an academic, this is the one health event you can’t afford to miss in 2020. Save the date!

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ED clinicians welcome My Health Record resources

Dr Andrew Hugman speaking at the launch of the My Health Record in ED guide

There has been a great response from hospitals and ED clinicians following the launch last month of our Emergency Department Clinicians' Guide to My Health Record and the related resources – a collaborative effort with the Australian Digital Health Agency and Australasian College for Emergency Medicine (ACEM).  

Released at ACEM’s 36th Annual Scientific Meeting 2019, the initiative supports hospital ED clinicians to access and use a patients’ My Health Record. Emergency physician and the Commission’s Clinical Lead Dr Andrew Hugman (pictured) says it is essential to promote the use of digital innovation to achieve the best outcomes for patients.  

The practical guide is useful to any clinician working in a hospital setting who wants to understand how My Health Record can better improve health outcomes.

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Spotlight on quality colonoscopy

Image still from the Colonoscopy consumer video

Ensuring that all Australians have the opportunity to have a safe and quality colonoscopy is a priority for the Commission. The Colonoscopy Clinical Care Standard released in late 2018 outlines what patients can expect, the responsibilities for clinicians, and the actions required by health service organisations to meet the National Safety and Quality Health Service (NSQHS) Standards.

To support implementation of the standard, the Commission has released practical new resources and tools, including:

Remember to share these useful resources with your colleagues, friends and loved ones.

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Beating the clock on myocardial infarction

Clinician holding a copy of the Acute Coronary Syndromes Clinical Care Standard

The Commission has revised the Acute Coronary Syndromes Clinical Care Standard for emergency treatment of heart attacks and related conditions. The update aligns the standard with guidelines from the National Heart Foundation and Cardiac Society of Australia and New Zealand.

The standard, first released in 2014, aims to improve the early diagnosis and management of an acute coronary syndrome to maximise a patient’s recovery and reduce risk of a future cardiac event. About 70,000 people aged 25+ have a heart attack each year, which equates to 190 heart attacks a day.

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National Hand Hygiene Initiative

The Commission established the NHHI in 2008 to help prevent and reduce healthcare-associated infections. For the past decade, Hand Hygiene Australia (HHA) has coordinated implementation of the NHHI with the states and territories and the private sector. We thank HHA for its support to health service organisations during this time.

Since 1 November, the Commission has managed NHHI and we now host the NHHI auditing resource (HHCApp), undertake the analysis of the audits to produce national reports, review and host the hand hygiene learning modules and manage the help desk. The Commission supports the states, territories and the private sector in this important endeavour to reduce infections by appropriate hand washing.

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Quick Bites - CQRs, transvaginal mesh, AMR and more

Australian Register of Clinical Registries

The Commission announced the Australian Register of Clinical Registries (ARCR) this month, to build a comprehensive list of clinical registries across Australia. Clinical quality registries (CQRs) report on clinical data to inform improvements at the patient, clinician, local and national levels.

Transvaginal mesh resources for clinicians and consumers

We have care pathways on our website for clinicians involved in the management of pelvic organ prolapse, stress urinary incontinence and transvaginal mesh complications. We also have information, developed in consultation with women affected by transvaginal mesh complications to support those affected.

eLearning modules on antimicrobial prescribing

Need to reinforce your knowledge of appropriate antimicrobial prescribing? Get up-to-date with the Therapeutic Guideline recommendations on antimicrobial prescribing and earn CPD points with our e-Learning modules. Developed with NPS MedicineWise, the modules are designed for prescribers, nurses, hospital pharmacists and university students, and address specific areas where antimicrobial use in hospitals is suboptimal.

Global fight against antibiotic resistance

Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is a high priority issue for all health services locally and internationally. The Commission is leading the coordination of the surveillance data needed to inform strategies to prevent and contain AMR, through the AURA Surveillance System. To mark Antibiotic Awareness Week 18-24 November 2019, the Commission released a range of resources to promote the safe and appropriate use of antimicrobials in hospitals and the community. The AURA Surveillance System and the work of the Commission to support the NSQHS Preventing and Controlling Healthcare-associated Infection Standard, and AMR, will continue in 2020.

Best wishes for a fun-filled festive season

Huge thanks to our eNews subscribers for your ongoing interest in and support of the Commission’s work, which is so important to maintaining patient safety and quality standards. We have big plans for 2020 so keep reading and send us your feedback at: communications@safetyandquality.gov.au

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Working at the Commission

Want to work in a vibrant culture with people dedicated to protecting the public from harm and improving the quality of health service provision? Visit the Commission's career page to find roles we are currently advertising.

Meet Suraj Rasakulasingam…

Photo of Suraj Rasakulasingam

Suraj Rasakulasingam, Manager, Data Analytics & Patient Safety Measurement

What did you do before the Commission?

I completed my undergrad in Materials and Mechanical engineering in 2010, and worked with various Department of Defence and Defence Materiel Organisation contractors. In 2011, I commenced the Graduate Development Program with the Commonwealth Department of Health and Ageing, and worked in the Medicare Benefits, Pharmaceutical Benefits and Acute Care divisions. In 2013, I moved up to Sydney to join the National Health Performance Authority as a health data analyst, before coming over to the Commission (as part of the MOG) in 2016, as a Senior Data analyst.

What do you do now?

I am the Manager of the Data Analytics & Patient Safety Measurement team. My teams’ day-to-day task is to assist all program areas and senior executive across the Commission with any data or analytical insights required. Specific work programs I oversee are the Hospital-acquired Complications (HACs), Avoidable Hospital Readmissions and the Core Hospital-based outcome indicators (CHBOIs).

What do you love about your work?

I have a very numbers and analytically focused mind. Working at the Commission helps me use these skills and interests to assist the entire organisation and at the same time allows me to grow professionally. The Commission is all about evidence-based decisions and policies, we all know ‘the numbers never lie’, and with my specific experience and knowledge across various health datasets, I am able to provide ‘the numbers’ to support work being undertaken within the Commission. 

What’s something that someone outside the Commission may not know about us?

Being employed at the Commission has helped me expand my skill set from being a pure ‘numbers guy’, to being more rounded in terms of policy development, programs, implementation and evaluation. The Commission is a great place to work, learn and grow through the insights and mentoring of talented, experienced and inspirational minds.

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t: 02 9126 3000
e: mail@safetyandquality.gov.au