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Gold star for St Andrew’s War Memorial Hospital

Animator, inventor and St Andrew\'s nurse Jason Lynch with St Andrew\'s nurse educator Shauna Northwood. Photo by Gray Media Services
St Andrew’s War Memorial Hospital has been ranked as one of Australia’s top-performing hospitals in a survey conducted by the Australian Council on Healthcare Standards (ACHS).
Research carried out at the hospital which is used to improve patient care received an Outstanding Achievement (OA) – placing this UnitingCare Health hospital among the top few percent of hospitals countrywide.

In the most recent national report by ACHS (2003-2006), only one percent of 615 organisations achieved an OA under non-mandatory criteria. In the survey conducted at St Andrew’s in 2008 and recently released by the ACHS, St Andrew’s received one OA in a non-mandatory area and 25 Extensive Achievement (EA) awards.

The organisation-wide survey praised St Andrew’s for its exceptional clinical care, commitment to quality improvement, and excellent strategic management.

St Andrew’s General Manager Dr Ian England said the ACHS survey report was a huge achievement and a credit to the hospital’s doctors, nurses, consulting specialists, Research Institute and support staff.

“We are proud to be a clinical leader in Australia – and it is particularly significant that the research conducted at St Andrew’s has been recognised as providing direct benefits to our patients,” he said.

The report found that the St Andrew’s Medical Institute “has provided impressive support to clinical outcomes review at St Andrew’s”.

“Particularly impressive is the way clinical outcomes information has been analysed practitioner by practitioner and for the hospital as a whole and benchmarked against the performance of other practitioner, College and hospital groups internationally,” the report found.

Dr England said the survey report confirmed that St Andrew’s plan for improvement and exceptional quality was paying off.

“We are completing a major $75million redevelopment which will enable us to provide our patients with better facilities to match our reputation for clinical excellence,” he said.
The ACHS report noted St Andrew’s expert level of care in specific specialities including cardiac, orthopaedics and neurosciences and said appropriate clinical trials were in progress relating to these specialities.

In the area of cardiac services, the survey noted St Andrew’s well developed cardiac audit and said “good systems exist for follow-up of cardiac patients for up to 12 months post-treatment”.

In orthopaedics, “patient information made available pre-operatively in the pre-admission clinic was an example of a comprehensive pre-admission process”.

St Andrew’s was also highly commended for its strong commitment to continuous quality improvement.

“Excellent results are being achieved and a wide range of improvement activities are occurring throughout the hospital.

“The hospital has a strong culture in audit and benchmarking and many improvements were demonstrated,” the report said.

There was praise for St Andrew’s risk management system which was “supported by a comprehensive program of staff training”.

“The surveyors noted that the hospital managed complaints in a timely manner. Patients are aware of the way to make a complaint. Customer service training is offered to all staff.”

Photo : Animator, inventor and St Andrew\’s nurse Jason Lynch with St Andrew\’s nurse educator Shauna Northwood. Photo by Gray Media Services