26 September 2023

SA health network first for patient safety

Start the conversation

Central Adelaide Local Health Network (CALHN) is to be among the first health networks in Australia to introduce an internationally-recognised workforce culture program which aims to address poor professional behaviours that could undermine patient safety.

Announcing the Professional Accountability Program, CALHN said it aimed to make the Network a safer and more reliable workplace for consumers and the clinical workforce, enhancing its ability to deliver world-class care.

CALHN said it was partnering with the Vanderbilt University in the US to implement the Vanderbilt Professional Behaviours Model to improve patient safety, clinician engagement and professional standards.

“Training has begun with CALHN’s medical workforce, however, all staff across the Network will be encouraged to report unprofessional behaviour through a soon-to-be-implemented confidential reporting system,” it said.

CALHN said the Program was an evidence-based, organisation-wide framework to encourage positive behaviour through awareness, self-reflection and feedback about unprofessional behaviours.

Executive Director of Medical Services at CALHN, Gerry O’Callaghan said the Program would help create an improvement culture to enhance patient safety.

“If you don’t feel confident raising an issue with a colleague which might be uncomfortable for you or them, then you are not in a position to represent the best interests of the patient,” Dr O’Callaghan said.

“People are much less likely to say to you, for example, you didn’t follow the proper hand hygiene moments, you might need to wash your hands, people are much more likely to just let that moment pass,” he said.

“That is not excellent care, that’s not the best professional standards to which we all aspire, so in order to have the environment where people feel psychologically safe, to speak up safely and to be the best patient advocates we can be, we need an accountability approach to promote psychological safety and professionalism,” Dr O’Callaghan said.

Start the conversation

Be among the first to get all the Public Sector and Defence news and views that matter.

Subscribe now and receive the latest news, delivered free to your inbox.

By submitting your email address you are agreeing to Region Group's terms and conditions and privacy policy.