The ‘Hello’, ‘Kia ora’ or ‘Talofa lava’ series of stickers are being worn as part of a national Patient Safety Week, being co-ordinated by the Health Quality and Safety Commission, and which has a focus on good communication between health professionals and patients.
The stickers have been adapted from a campaign by terminally ill British doctor Kate Grainger, who noticed many medical staff treating her did not introduce themselves, or say what they were going to do.
Director, Patient Safety and Clinical Effectiveness Muriel Hancock says in MidCentral District Health Board clear and timely, two-way communication with patients is a priority, and the name stickers are a great reminder to staff of the importance of good communication, as well as showing patients their questions are welcomed.
She said: “MDHB has planned a full week of activities around the eye-catching pink ‘Let’s Talk’ theme. Posters featuring seven of our staff have already gone up around Palmerston North Hospital, and Horowhenua Health Centre.
“The posters focus on different messages that these staff feel are important to them and their patients and families, such as hand hygiene and medication safety, but also link into the idea of introducing themselves to patients and families and being open to talking to patients about their care.”
Patients will be offered airline–style safety cards which have advice on simple things patients can do to keep themselves safer while in hospital. The cards include advice on preventing falls, blood clots, pressure ulcers and infections. There is advice on using a walking aid if they need one, doing simple leg and ankle exercise, washing their hands, and talking to their doctor, nurse or pharmacist if they have any concerns about their medicines.
MDHB has a series of activities running throughout the week, including information being given to patients about preparing to leave hospital, staff talks about different aspects of patient safety, and information about how staff can better communicate with their patients.
Contact: Communications Unit (06) 350-8945