Hospitals could be forced to report patient outcomes

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Community Health & Wellness Law & Safety Political Queensland Government

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Patient mortality rates, post-operative complications, readmissions and general hospital outcomes could be made public following a State Government call for a discussion paper on the issue.

Queensland Nurses and Midwives' Union (QNMU) Assistant Secretary Sandra Eales said the QNMU had long-campaigned for increased public reporting of patient outcomes in both private and public hospitals.

Ms Eales said Queenslanders deserved to know money invested in hospital services was producing the best outcomes for patients. She said private health services should be held to the same scrutiny as public hospitals.

"We absolutely want improved transparency around outcomes in both public and private hospitals,'' Ms Eales said.

"We believe that open, public reporting is essential to ensure accountability and to support a safety culture within all hospitals.''

Ms Eales said she would like to see all hospitals and aged care facilities required to publicly report mortality rates and patient outcomes.

"Under the LNP Government there was structural shift in health that focused performance almost solely on financial accountability and medical activity targets,'' she said.

"We lost system-level visibility on patient safety and work force well-being. The current government is properly turning the focus to patient outcomes because it's no good getting "surgery on-time" if the patient does not survive or is made sicker as a result.

"Patient outcomes need to be as closely monitored and reported as surgical wait-list times.''

The current government is properly turning the focus to patient outcomes because it's no good getting surgery if the patient does not survive or is made sicker as a result.''

Public reporting is also a feature of the Palaszczuk Government's nurse to patient ratio legislation which was introduced on May 12 last year. The QNMU welcomed the world-leading legislation. Nurses and midwives world-wide know the skill mix and number of staff rostered on at a hospital directly impact patient outcomes.

"Hospitals should be held accountable for the staffing decisions they make and the outcomes of those decisions,'' Ms Eales said.

American hospitals report performance indicators online including mortality rates, failure to resuscitate, post-operative complications and readmissions.

Queensland Nurses and Midwives’ Union (QNMU) :
GPO Box 1289, Brisbane Q 4001, Queensland Wide
07 3840 1444
1800 177 273
07 3844 9387
Queensland Nurses and Midwives’ Union (QNMU)
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