Mercy Celebrates 2020 Quality Award Winners


Last night Mercy Hospital staff and specialists celebrated excellence in health care at its annual Quality Awards, held at the University of Otago Staff Club. The awards, instigated in 2011, recognise and reward staff-led improvement initiatives.

'Nothing about me without me,' a transition of patient care project led by McAuley Ward nurses Pam Prasad, Matt McDonald, Amy Porter and Amanda O'Connor, was this year's Supreme Award winner. The project marries clinical best practice with the social distancing requirements of the COVID-19 pandemic, moving patient handover from the nurses station to the patient's bedside. Crucially, this change allows patients to be involved in the handover of their care between shifts.

Judges Dr Robyn Chirnside, Dr David Perez, Dr Jenny McMahon and Philippa Pringle agreed that 'Nothing about me without me' exhibits excellent team work and embodiment of the Mercy values Kotahitanga (Collaboration) and Hiranga (Excellence).

Three other projects also received Quality Awards. 'PITStop: Implementation of a post-operative handover tool' led by Sarah Eton and the Post Anaesthetic Care Unit team, saw the implementation of a protected handover pause to help support the safe transition of patient care.

'21st century preadmissions,' led by Mercy's IT team, Jo Fairweather and Suite 22 staff, saw the introduction of a digital patient registration tool. Responding to consumer and specialist demand, Personify Care provides a more efficient and cost effective way of receiving patient information. Judges commended the multi-disciplinary collaboration required for this project.

‘MDRO and isolated patient information’. Mercy's Infection Prevention Control nurse Sarah Hydes worked with a patient to produce a set of 'plain English' brochures, demystifying the the multi-drug resistant organism (MDRO) screening and isolation process. Judges commended this important project, which sees Mercy lead the way in MDRO management and involved significant consumer participation.

'The ins and outs of managing crates,' saw improvements to the handling and storage of hired theatre equipment and this improvement was acknowledged by judges with a highly commended award.

Mercy Hospital CEO Richard Whitney says he was impressed with the number of quality projects submitted this year and by the quality of the work.

"I'm incredibly proud of the calibre of this year's projects. Mercy staff continue to prioritise exceptional care, even in the face of an incredibly challenging and disruptive year."

Also recognised this year was Mercy’s Quality Coordinator Judith Vercoe, who was acknowledged for her 10 year contribution to continuous quality improvement at Mercy.

Clinical Microbiologist Associate Professor James Ussher was this year's guest speaker and provided insight into the current COVID-19 pandemic and complexities in the production and global distribution of a safe and effective vaccine.

Mercy’s next opportunity to showcase quality and excellence will be with initiatives from this years awards being entered for the national New Zealand Private Surgical Hospital's Quality Awards scheduled for March 2021. 

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