WIMMERA Health Care Group’s Graduate Nurse Program participants have found an innovative way to help patients feel more in control of their treatment.

Graduate nurse program co-ordinator Bernie Taylor said members of the Graduate Nurse Program complete a clinical risk project every year.

Ms Taylor said this year graduates aligned their project with several National Standards, for which the hospital is accredited.

“There are certain requirements of National Standards accreditation and the graduate staff decided to focus mainly Standard 4-Medication Safety and Standard 5- Patient Identification and Procedure Matching,” Ms Taylor said.

“The graduates conducted an observational audit to see how they could improve systems relating to those standards.”

Ms Taylor said the audit showed there could be improvements to patient identifiers, such as using name, age and unit record number to confirm a patient’s identity, along with notifying patients about what medications they were being given. 

“The graduates suggested to improve procedures by incorporating Standard 1-   Governance for Safety and Quality and Standard 2- Partnering with Consumers,” Ms Taylor said.

“Graduates recognised patients could be better informed on hospital procedures to make them feel more in control of their treatment.

“So the Patient Safety Information Card was developed and will be handed to all patients on admission so they are aware of what staff would be doing.”

Ms Taylor said the graduates decided to publicly launch the card so the community was aware that Wimmera Health Care Group was better informing consumers at the same time as supporting staff.

“It is also a great way for patients to take greater control of their treatment.”

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