Each year, SVHA’s clinical teams perform thousands of operations and see hundreds of thousands of patients. In 2018/19 SVHA performed almost 18,000 surgical procedures.
A hospital-acquired infection (HAI) is an infection that can either be picked up in a hospital or health care setting, or from outside the environment, brought in by another infected patient or staff member. Across SVHA we monitor HAIs that are commonly found in health care settings, such as Staphyloccus Aureus (SAB), a type of bacteria that can be found on human skin and which is often referred to as ‘staph’ or ‘golden staph’.
St Vincent’s Health monitors SAB infections every month. The national target is for health organisations to have a rate less than two infections per 10,000 patient care days. The rate for SAB across SVHA’s facilities during 2018/19 was 0.55 infections per 10,000, down from 0.72 infections per 10,000 patient care days in the previous year.
SVHA also monitors how often staff wash their hands or use an antiseptic gel prior to providing care to our patients. In 2018-19, St Vincent’s Health’s hand washing compliance was 84.6%. This demonstrates continuous improvement over the last five years, with rates improving from 80% in 2014-15.
The St Vincent’s Clinical Assurance and Reliability Program (SCARP) was introduced in 2017 to provide the Board, divisions, facilities, clinicians, and the public with assurance, transparency, and visibility of the clinical care provided across the organisation, in accordance with evidenced-based guidelines.
SCARP assessments – which are carried out in collaboration with local clinicians – are key to identifying any discrepancies which in turn informs improvements and assurance. The assurance process is integral to maintaining health care accreditations and jurisdictional licensing.
In 2018-19, SVHA completed two full SCARP assessments against standards for the management of Acute Coronary Syndrome and Acute Stroke.
Acute Stroke (AS) is one of Australia’s biggest killers and leading causes of disability. The degree of damage caused by a stroke is dependent on the amount of time brain tissue is denied blood supply. The ‘time is brain’ concept means that avoiding delays in diagnosis and treatment of stroke is a priority.
SVHA’s SCARP assessment of AS was carried out in the following way:
In recognition of the SCARP team’s work in this area, St Vincent’s Hospital Melbourne won the SVHA Clinical Innovation Award in 2018 for their project ‘simulation training to improve code stroke performance’.
SVHA is creating an organisation-wide research strategy, creating a network that can address areas of critical importance to clinicians and communities.
The first national networks will be established in palliative medicine, orthopaedics, comprehensive cancer care, and Mission-related areas including homelessness, drug and alcohol addiction and prisoner health.
SVHA will develop national approaches to:
- Ensure all patients will be offered the opportunity to participate in clinical trials and studies that aim to improve health care for all Australians into the future.
- Simplify and facilitate collaboration with other organisations on policies related to intellectual property and commercialisation.
- Deliver IT solutions to assist with leveraging health-related data to improve patient care and health services.
SVHA is strongly committed to a patient-centred health care system and conducts dual processes for measuring patient experience.
The first is a biannual survey which provides trend data going back to 2014. It also allows us to benchmark our performance against similar feedback to 89 Australian and 2,790 international comparison hospitals.
SVHA’s most recent results indicate that 70% of all patients rate its hospitals 9 or 10 out of 10. This is above the Australian benchmark of 65.5%. In SVHA’s private facilities, 70.1% of patients give a rating of 9 or 10 out of 10 (Australian benchmark, 69.3%); in the public facilities, it’s 69.5% (Australian benchmark, 59.2%).
The second measure is a real-time SMS survey sent to all patients within 48 hours of discharge, providing what’s known as a Net Promoter Score (NPS). The NPS is used globally to measure customer experience and is based on the answer to a single question; “How likely are you to recommend our facility to a family or friend?”
SVHA’s NPS for August 2018 was 72%. SVHA has established an ambitious goal to improve its NPS score to 80% by 2025.
SVHA’s Inspired to Care program embeds the three principles of person-centred care – ‘we feel welcome’, ‘we feel valued’, and ‘we feel safe’ – across the organisation, uniting staff in a shared aspiration. The program supports facilities to embed the person-centred care principles and provide a consistently positive care experience to every patient and resident.
Inspired to Care underwent review during the year which resulted in a new strategy for the initiative, placing the Net Promoter Score at the centre of the program so the organisation can prioritise the consumer experience when designing and delivering services.
The goal of the new Inspired to Care strategy is to amplify the voice of our patients, residents, and families, and empower our staff to consistently deliver and improve on the quality of their care.
SVHA’s Ethos program aims to embed safe, respectful and professional behaviour across the organisation. Launched at St Vincent’s Hospital Melbourne in July 2017, Ethos has since been rolled out to St Vincent’s Private Hospital Melbourne (June 2018), St Vincent’s Hospital Sydney (November 2018), St Vincent’s Private Hospital Sydney (November 2018), the Mater Hospital (July 2019), and St Vincent’s Private Hospitals Northside and Brisbane (September 2019). The program will be launched at St Vincent’s Private Community Hospital Griffith and St Vincent’s Private Hospital Toowoomba by the end of 2019. The program currently reaches over 15,000 staff.
As at August 2019, there have been a total of 1,134 staff messages submitted to Ethos: 49% resulted in feedback to individual staff asking them to reflect on expected standards of conduct, while 51% resulted in feedback providing acknowledgement and recognition.
During 2019, the Ethos program underwent an independent review, which made 18 recommendations designed to improve the program based on feedback from staff, all of which were accepted by the St Vincent’s Ethos Steering Committee.