Aotearoa Patient Safety Day celebrated


Mercy staff celebrated Aotearoa Patient Safety Day this week, recognising staff led improvement initiatives that centre on patient safety.

The Catherine Scally Patient Safety award was presented to Mercy's post anaesthetic care unit (PACU) team, for their work implementing PITStop - a postoperative handover tool that supports the safe transition of patient care. 

PITStop (Patient Information Time Stop and listen) involves a protected pause, where a verbal handover takes place from the anaesthetist and theatre nurse to the post anaesthetic care nurse. Observing a protected pause for handover to occur has been proven to help support patient safety at transition of care points. 

Sarah Eton, Mercy Hospital PACU nurse, was the project leader. Judges were impressed with how the project team secured and maintained buy in from all of the health professionals involved; and with the project's commitment to improving patient safety. 

Catherine Rae, the sponsor of the patient safety award, explains that 'the Catherine Scally Patient Safety award is dedicated to the memory of our much loved mother.'

'The Koru, a symbol of life, new beginnings, growth and harmony, has been chosen to acknowledge the recipient's dedication to patient safety. It represents my mother's hope for peace, staff and patient safety, and for excellence in health care.'

Patient Safety Day is celebrated annually and the Health Quality Safety Commission in New Zealand has elected to link with the World Health Organisation to address avoidable harm or injuries that patients suffer while receiving health care. 

The last winner of the Catherine Scally Patient Safety Award was Mercy's Theatre Team for the successful implementation of the 'Below 10,000' safety tool. 

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