Focus on quality leadership helps improve clinical patient outcomes

Winner of the 2014 Netcare Quality Leadership Awards announced

Thursday, March 26 2015

Three hundred and seven: that's the number of quality measures that Netcare has been monitoring on an ongoing basis across all its divisions in South Africa in 2014. "Netcare doesn't just pay lip service to quality; 74% of these 307 quality measures showed a year-on-year improvement, highlighting that Netcare is indeed focused on continuously exploring, implementing and measuring quality initiatives which contribute to delivering healthcare services of the highest standard, on a daily basis. Our quality management system incorporates a strong leadership focus and active engagement of frontline employees in quality improvement practices," emphasises Dr Dena van den Bergh, director quality leadership at Netcare.

To encourage staff to take ownership of quality improvement initiatives and recognise achievements and learnings, Netcare launched its annual Quality Leadership Awards four years ago. Dr Van den Bergh elaborates: "These awards focus on initiating sustainable projects within Netcare which improve clinical outcomes, enhance the patient experience and identify opportunities for greater efficiencies and improved care. The aim of the awards is to inspire staff at all levels to take their place as healthcare leaders by stimulating new thinking, putting forward ideas for improvement and testing and implementing solutions with an engaged team."

The winning initiative of the Quality Leadership Awards for 2014, selected from 166 submissions, was entitled "Building blocks for a sustainable antibiotic stewardship programme". Project leader Marilyn Leadsom and a team at Netcare Christiaan Barnard Memorial Hospital in Cape Town focused on reducing critical infections and, in partnership with pharmacy personnel, integrating the infection prevention programme with antimicrobial stewardship. Leadsom, an infection prevention practitioner, is committed to creating a culture of collaboration to achieve improved outcomes for patients. She also participated in the 2012 Quality Leadership Awards and in 2013, the project she led was one of the top ten finalists for the awards.

"Since Netcare launched these awards in 2012, the number of submissions has more than quadrupled, emphasising that management and staff members alike in all of Netcare's divisions are committed to quality excellence.

In addition, the Quality Leadership Awards enhance the skills and abilities of our healthcare practitioners, which is highlighted by the fact that four of our five runners-up for 2014 were also participants in the 2013 awards," says Dr van den Bergh. The runners-up were teams from Netcare Alberlito, Netcare Kuils River, Netcare Milpark Netcare St Augustine's hospitals and Netcare Gauteng North East region's managed healthcare team.

Leadsom, as leader of the winning team, will be heading to London in April to attend the 20th International Forum on Quality and Safety in Healthcare. This annual four-day forum brings together some 3000 healthcare practitioners from around the world. With over 200 quality improvement experts sharing the latest thinking on sustainable and enhanced patient care, this is an ideal opportunity to learn and share knowledge in order to improve patient safety and quality globally.

Mande Toubkin, general manager emergency, trauma, transplant and CSI, who submitted two pioneering projects for the 2014 Netcare awards, will also be joining Leadsom at the forum.

"I would like to extend my congratulations to Marilyn Leadsom and her team, along with the runners-up. Continually pursuing quality excellence takes dedication, time and effort, and for that I commend all our staff members who participated in quality improvement initiatives. I look forward to even more teams participating in the quality initiatives for 2015 so that Netcare can deliver even better clinical outcomes and an improved patient experience," concludes Dr Van den Bergh.



Issued by: Martina Nicholson Associates (MNA) on behalf of Netcare
Contact : Martina Nicholson, Graeme Swinney, or Sarah Wilson
Telephone: (011) 469 3016
Email: [email protected], [email protected] or [email protected]