Quality and Safety Markers

Quality and Safety Markers are used to track progress and improve healthcare and reduce patient harm in these areas:

  • 1. Patient falls 
    2. Healthcare associated infection (HAI) 
       a. central line associated bacteraemia (CLAB) 
       b. compliance with hand hygiene 
       c. surgical site infection (SSI) 
    3. Perioperative (surgical) harm 
    4. Medication safety

The markers measure healthcare processes that should be done routinely. All of New Zealand’s district health boards are required to report on how well they are doing. The thresholds have been set by the Health Quality and Safety Commission. 

The Commission has created an interactive dashboard to display national results for the Quality and Safety Markers.



Falls Prevention 

 Target met: 97% of older people were given a falls risk assessment (target 90%).

Why: If risk is assessed, it provides an opportunity to put interventions in place to minimise the risk of the person falling. 

Future focus: Make sure every at risk patient has an individualised care plan to try and minimise the risk for that person.


Healthcare associated infection

 - Hand hygiene

Thumbs downTarget not met: 73% of health professionals cleaned their hands before and after having contact with a patient (target 80%).

Why: Most transmissible bugs are carried on people’s hands. If healthcare staff comply with the five moments of hand hygiene patients are less likely to be infected.

Future focus: Improve results. A working group has dentified new strategies to improve that will be implemented in 2017.

  - Surgical site infection

Why: A surgical site infection is an infection of a surgical wound following surgery. Some infections are minor and only skin-deep, but other more serious ones can involve organs, or implanted material such as joint replacements. The Health Quality and Safety Commission is currently focused on reducing surgical site infections following hip and knee replacement surgeries. They recommend that the correct dose and type of antibiotic is given immediately before surgery with the correct skin preparation to help prevent these infections.

Thumbs downTarget not met: 97% of primary hip and knee replacement patients received prophylactic antibiotics 0-60 minutes before surgery (target 100%).

Thumbs upTarget met: 97% of hip and knee replacement patients receiving 2g or more of cefazolin or 1.5g or more cefuroxime (target 95%).

Thumbs upTarget met: 100 percent of hip and knee replacement patients having appropriate skin antisepsis in surgery using alcohol/chlorhexidine or alcohol/povidone iodine (target 100%)

Future focus: Achieve 100% in all the surgical site markers.

Perioperative (surgical) harm

Why: The surgical safety checklist ensures that the theatre team perform key safety checks as a team without having to rely on memory, increase verbal communication in the theatre and instill a sense of shared accountability for the outcome of the procedure.

Future focus: Studies have shown that poor teamwork and communication in operating theatre has a greater negative effect on performance and patient safety.  The focus is on improving teamwork and communication within surgical teams. Read more....