Mercy's Annual Celebration of Quality Improvement Initiatives


On October 6th, Mercy Hospital staff, specialists, and guests gathered to celebrate excellence in healthcare at the annual Quality Awards evening. This memorable event was instigated in 2011, and provides an opportunity to recognise and reward staff-led improvement initiatives around the hospital.

This year's judging panel - composed of Mr Mark Smith, Dr Robyn Chrinside, Dr David Perez, Philippa Pringle, and Chris Ford- had the task of deliberating eight quality projects, involving a wide range of departments and aspects of direct and indirect patient care processes. The Supreme Quality award winner for 2022 was announced as 'Scrub vs Rub', a project led by Natalie McLean, Shelley Nickerson, Sandra Millis and Sarah Hydes. This forward-thinking initiative included researching peer-reviewed literature from around the world and assessing the products, techniques, and attitudes of those that “scrub” at Mercy Hospital to ensure our processes live up to the current best practice standards.

Judges were impressed with this project's targeted focus on evidence-based best practice, and in-depth literature reviews. They noted that "the clear aim of this project is compliance with best practice, standardisation, and establishing a standard of care."

Three other projects recieved awards in recognition of their hard work and contributions towards Mercy's shared purpose: exceptional care that makes a difference. 'Clean Skin for the Win' was led by our Infection Prevention and Control Nurse, Sarah Hydes, and focussed on the development of a care bundle which has decreased cardiothoracic patient infection rates by 30%. 

'Greensleeves' was submitted by Claire Casey, Linda Johnston, and Wilson Gallagher, and has changed the way we purchase and dispose of single use compression garments. This has already resulted in an 83% reduction in waste from the related garments, highlighting the sustainabilty aspect of this project.

A collection of our senior nurses - Lianne van Egdom, Theresa McKay, Natalie Cowie and Niki Bujak - collaborated on the project 'Setting the Trend – More Than Just a Piece of Paper'. The process changes involved had a focus on enhacing patient awareness of and involvement in their care during hospitalisation, which judges acknowledged is a great example of patient empowerment at Mercy.

The remaining four entries for this year included 'App-solutely Safe Food', 'Complex Made Easy - Ngāwari', 'Cyber Awareness Training', and 'In Safe Hands'. These projects respecitvely focussed on enhancements surrounding food safety for patients and staff, complex patient preadmission processes, cyber security and awareness at Mercy, and manual handling practices. The judges noted that the 'overall standard of the write up of the projects increases each year'.

Click here to view the fabulous short project videos from this year on our YouTube channel. We would like to thank the team at Firebrand for their help with the production of these videos.

One of the evening's highlights was CEO Richard Whitney's "Never Waste a Good Crisis" presentation, which reflected on Covid-19's impact on the organization and the response of a small internal team which was established to preserve Mercy's capabilities - responding to the 'public need' and to secure our ability for re-commissioning at an unknown future time.

The "Ground Zero" team demonstrated creativity, innovation, insight and risk taking during uncharted times and events when our traditional normalities and structures were missing. This group included Adrian Robinson, Wilson Gallaher, Sarah Hydes, Diana Evans, Sandra Campbell, Rob Larsen, Paula Sharp, Robyn Chirnside, Richard Ward, Edith Paulsen, Jackie Wilde, Alofa Lale, Ange McNulty, Jason Silby, Andrew Taggart and Philippa Pringle, who were formally acknowledged at the awards night.

Mercy Hospital looks forward to seeing which valuable improvement initiatives staff continue to create and develop in 2023.

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