Health Quality and Safety Commission: HQSC

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The Health Quality & Safety Commission was established under the New Zealand Public Health & Disability Amendment Act 2010 to ensure all New Zealanders receive the best health and disability care within our available resources.

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Research projects

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Hand Hygiene New Zealand (HHNZ) has contracted with the Health Quality & Safety Commission since 2011 to improve hand hygiene in New Zealand hospitals. This rapid evaluation (available to download below) aimed to assess the impact the programme has had to date, and whether it had affected clinical outcomes. The evaluation included: analysing documents created by HHNZ – including...
Dec 2013
Suicide is an issue of major concern to New Zealand communities. Each year more than 500 people take their lives, more than the number of those who die in road traffic crashes. Each of these deaths affects the lives of many others and many are preventable. As noted in the New Zealand Suicide Prevention Action Plan 2013–2016 (Suicide Prevention Action Plan), "the prevention of suicide is both...
Nov 2013
Patient falls resulting in harm are one of the most frequently reported adverse events in hospitals. Of the 730 serious adverse events reported by district health boards (DHBs) in New Zealand in 2010–12, 365 were patient falls (averaging one every other day); of those, 170 were associated with a hip fracture, typically adding an estimated month to an individual’s hospital stay. The financial cost...
Oct 2013
Variation in medical practice has become a major topic of inquiry for health services researchers. Investigators have frequently documented variation in the way in which health services are delivered, both among individual clinicians and across geographic areas, and have found that such variation often cannot be explained by demographic factors or other determinants of health need. The existence...
Sep 2013
In 2011, the Health Quality & Safety Commission (the Commission) made a decision to separate district health board (DHB) mental health and addictions services serious adverse events (SAEs) from the main SAE report, and to support the sector in its approach to reviewing and reporting SAEs. The following report is the first from the Commission specifically focused on SAEs affecting patients of...
Aug 2013
Background Health literacy is defined by the Health Quality and Safety Commission (HQSC) as: "The degree to which individuals can obtain, process and understand health information and services they need to make appropriate health decisions" (New Zealand Guidelines Group, 2011). In response to recommendations from research carried out by the New Zealand Guidelines Group the Commission...
Aug 2013
The Health Quality & Safety Commission’s national programme, Reducing Harm from Falls, has an initial emphasis on preventing falls and reducing fall-related injuries in public hospitals. While the ideal of set of programme components at hospital level is not yet clear, risk assessments are common elements in programmes demonstrated to be effective. This project therefore provides a critical...
Aug 2013
Poisoning has been defined as injury to, and destruction of, bodily cells through the ingestion, inhalation, injection or absorption of toxic substances (World Health Organization 2008). In Western countries there are two demographic peaks of poisoning activity and deaths. The first is unintentional exploratory poisonings, where children younger than six years of age (but typically between two...
Jul 2013
A significant piece of work was concluded in 2013 which focussed on measurement and evaluation across the medication safety programme, with an emphasis on the electronic medicines management (eMM) initiatives, a partnership between the Health Quality & Safety Commission (the Commission) and the National Health IT Board. The project was independently undertaken for the Commission by Sapere...
Jun 2013
This project supports delivering better quality health care for all New Zealanders. It aims to achieve this by initiating the work required to measure and report how consumers or patients actually experience the health system. What happened to them and how did it make them feel? By capturing this consistently and coherently across New Zealand’s health system, this information can be used to make...

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