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Patient safety saves govt $50 million

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 30/10/2016

Reducing the number of patients who fall and break their hips while in hospital has saved the healthcare system $2.5 million since January, the Health Quality and Safety Commission says.

Investments in patient safety have also resulted in millions of dollars saved by reducing the risk of patients contracting infections in hospital, while work around sudden unexpected death in infancy has resulted in 547 fewer deaths of children aged between 28 days and 24 years by more than 500, the Open4Health report says.

It's the first report of its kind from the commission, which was established six years ago to improve care across the system.

"In all, improvements in these areas have saved $50 million and added value of over $350 million since 2010, when the commission was founded," Associate Health Minister Peter Dunne said on Monday, the start of Patient Safety Week.

This year's awareness week will focus on communication between consumers and health professionals.

Mr Dunne said hospital staff would wear name stickers to introduce themselves, building a human connection and trust that sets a foundation for better communication in all aspects of a patient's care.

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