2017 WSLHD Quality Awards

Western Sydney Local Health District

2017 Quality Awards winners

Each year, WSLHD hosts the Quality Awards as an opportunity to harness the creative and innovative ideas of staff, who are committed to making a difference to patient care and health outcomes.

Some of the winning projects will now be submitted to the NSW Health Innovation Awards and the NSW Premier's Awards.

Congratulations to all!!

To see photos, videos and highlights from the Quality Awards ceremony, visit The Pulse.

Peak award winners

Board Chair Award

Patient feedback - online, real time, anytime!

My Experience Matters was an Australian first, allowing patients, carers and families to provide real-time feedback on their experience at Westmead and Auburn hospitals through an online survey.

An average patient experience score is now on display on each hospital’s website. Examples of patient-inspired improvements, made as a result of feedback, are also shown – they could be something as easily fixed as a banging door, or suggestions to reduce noise at night.

More than 1300 surveys have been completed to date, and surveys have been rolled out at Blacktown and Mount Druitt hospitals as well. These patient insights are improving services across the district.

2017 WSLHD Quality Awards finalist team photo - Patient feedback - online, real time, anytime!


Chief Executive Award

Rapid Access to Care and Evaluation (RACE) Program

An estimated cost saving of $400,000 in three months was just the beginning for the RACE program – the impact for geriatric patients presenting to the Westmead Hospital’s emergency department has been even more profound.

Safe, early departures from hospital for elderly patients are at the heart of the program.

A comprehensive assessment identifies suitable patients. They are then discharged for treatment in their home – with a home visit guaranteed within 24 hours. Within five days, a robust individual management plan is put in place.

Average length of stay in hospital has decreased significantly, 90 per cent of patients say they have achieved their goals while on the program, and almost all of them say they’d recommend it to others.

2017 WSLHD Quality Awards finalist team photo - Rapid access to care and evaluation (RACE) program


WentWest Partnership Award

Community Eye Care in Western Sydney

Partnering with local optometrists, who do standardised exams which are then reviewed remotely by Westmead Hospital ophthalmologists, has reduced the need for hospital appointments by 47 per cent.

This improved access to eyecare means patients get access to opthamologists in the public system quickly, and waiting times have been slashed.

The innovative community program – dubbed C-EYE-C – has also enhanced eyecare in Sydney’s west by building relationships, feedback and learning channels between optometrists and opthamologists.

Of the 241 people who took part in a trial, more than half said they preferred the program, and 85 per cent said they were confident using it.

2017 WSLHD Quality Awards finalist team photo - Community Eye Care in western Sydney


NewsLocal People's Choice Award

Westmead After-Hours Nurse Cannulation Team

Cannulation – which places a cannula inside a vein to provide easier access for blood samples, to administer treatment or to supply fluids – is a common procedure in hospital. It’s a job usually done by doctors, but at Westmead Hospital a successful pilot program has revealed an alternative.

Under the program, an after-hours nursing cannulation team was put in place. Using nurses freed up doctors to manage acutely unwell patients.

Sharing the cannulation workload across nursing and medical disciplines has allowed each team to focus their skill sets where they are needed most, improving outcomes for both patients and staff.

2017 WSLHD Quality Awards finalist team photo - Westmead After-Hours Nurse Cannulation Team




Main award winners

Patients as Partners Award

Stanford Chronic Disease Self-Management Program

Chronic disease affects every aspect of a person’s life: pain, mobility, fatigue, communication, nutrition, decision making and more. For patients from Aboriginal and Torres islander backgrounds, or who were born overseas, those challenges are magnified by differences in culture, language and health literacy.

From 2014-2017, bilingual workers with the WSLHD chronic disease management team rolled out culturally appropriate self-management programs to 220 chronic disease sufferers – with amazing results.

Health literacy improved, leading to better clinical outcomes. Participants felt more supported and better able to manage their health. Confidence improved.

“…the action plan kept me going to the gym twice a week and doing my exercises at home,” one participant said.

2017 WSLHD Quality Awards finalist team photo - Stanford Chronic Disease Self-Management Program


Integrated Health Care Award

Rapid Access to Care and Evaluation (RACE) Program

An estimated cost saving of $400,000 in three months was just the beginning for the RACE program – the impact for geriatric patients presenting to the Westmead Hospital’s emergency department has been even more profound.

Safe, early departures from hospital for elderly patients are at the heart of the program.

A comprehensive assessment identifies suitable patients. They are then discharged for treatment in their home – with a home visit guaranteed within 24 hours. Within five days, a robust individual management plan is put in place.

Average length of stay in hospital has decreased significantly, 90 per cent of patients say they have achieved their goals while on the program, and almost all of them say they’d recommend it to others.

2017 WSLHD Quality Awards finalist team photo - Rapid access to care and evaluation (RACE) program


Translational Research Award

Pelvic floor muscle training pre and post radical prostatectomy

Having prostate cancer is bad enough – but suffering incontinence after surgery to deal with it can have long-term impacts on patients’ health and well-being.

In 2016, a Westmead Hospital team began a program of pelvic floor muscle training on 26 patients who had, or were about to have, radical prostatectomies.

The outcome for patients was fantastic - 95 per cent said they were satisfied with the program and nine months after treatment, more than 80 per cent of urologists said it was effective in returning their patients to urinary continence.

The pelvic floor muscle training program was a collaboration between the Westmead physiotherapy department, urologists and nursing staff.

2017 WSLHD Quality Awards finalist team photo - Pelvic floor muscle training pre and post prostatectomy


Local Solutions Award

Westmead After-Hours Nurse Cannulation Team

Cannulation – which places a cannula inside a vein to provide easier access for blood samples, to administer treatment or to supply fluids – is a common procedure in hospital. It’s a job usually done by doctors, but at Westmead Hospital a successful pilot program has revealed an alternative.

Under the program, an after-hours nursing cannulation team was put in place. Using nurses freed up doctors to manage acutely unwell patients.

Sharing the cannulation workload across nursing and medical disciplines has allowed each team to focus their skill sets where they are needed most, improving outcomes for both patients and staff.

2017 WSLHD Quality Awards finalist team photo - Westmead After-Hours Nurse Cannulation Team


Preventive Health Award

Rethink your Drink @ Westmead Hospital

Westmead Hospital cemented its reputation as a trailblazer in preventative health this year when it became the first hospital in Sydney to remove sugar sweetened drinks from food outlets and vending machines.

The project – implemented after a long period of consultation with suppliers – targeted the red-button issue of obesity, and highlighted its link with sugary drinks.

Water was pushed as the drink of choice, leading to a 44 per cent increase in sales. There was also a spike in other healthy drinks as both patients and employees supported the trial.

Rethink Your Drink is now a permanent fixture at Westmead Hospital, and is being emulated across the state.

2017 WSLHD Quality Awards finalist team photo - Rethink your Drink at Westmead Hospital


Collaborative Team Award

To Home or Elsewhere - Family Meeting

It’s a frightening situation – being the parent of an unborn baby already identified as being at risk of abuse or neglect.

The ‘To Home or Elsewhere’ project worked with families to break intergenerational cycles of behaviour that make babies and families vulnerable. Lasting change was achieved by taking a multi-pronged approach across multiple agencies.

As a result, there was a 75 per cent reduction in the number of babies taken into care at birth. Family wellbeing and life opportunities were lifted as well.

2017 WSLHD Quality Awards finalist team photo - To Home or Elsewhere - Family Meeting


Harry Collins Award

Stopping our SABSIs

Staph infections (known in the medical world as SABSIs), however rare, are dangerous. Preventative steps can save lives – as a concerted nine-year hospital-wide effort at Westmead showed.

The aim of the project was to reduce the rate of infections acquired in the 48 hours after admission to Westmead Hospital by improving hand hygiene, aseptic cannulation and central line insertion (which prevents microorganisms being introduced by hands, surfaces or equipment), and looking at surgical prophylaxis guidelines.

In 2008, the rate of infection was more than three per 10,000 occupied bed days.

By 2016, that figure had tumbled to just 0.7 per 10,000 occupied bed days.

From 2013 to 2016, the program prevented 190 episodes and 54 deaths.

2017 WSLHD Quality Awards finalist team photo - Stopping our SABSIs


Arts and Health Award

Behind Every Favourite Song is an Untold Story: Music and Memory Program in Acute Care

Think about your favourite song. Chances are it brings on a rush of memories: great times, friends, family, experiences.

The music and memory program puts those powerful emotions to work to manage the devastating behavioural and psychological symptoms of dementia.

Individualised iPod playlists are made for each patient. Many now dance and sing, and chat where they previously didn’t. With improved interaction has come reduced agitation and aggression. There is less need treatment with drugs.

One patient - previously aggressive and needing constant supervision – now recognises staff and steps in to calm other patients who are agitated.

2017 WSLHD Quality Awards finalist team photo - Behind Every Favourite Song is an Untold Story - Music & Memory Program in Acute Care


Innovation Award

Not another DVT in the ED

Acute deep vein thrombosis (DVT) is caused by a blood clot in a vein. It restricts blood flow and can have serious health impacts.

This project aimed at assessing and treating 95 per cent of people who presented with acute DVT at Westmead Hospital’s emergency department under global, best practice guidelines by June 2017.

The result was a 60 per cent increase in appropriate investigation, treatment and referral. The time between ED assessment and follow-up in the acute clot clinic fell; 92 per cent of patients were seen in three days or less.

Along with fewer complications and adverse events, patients reported reduced stress and higher rates of satisfaction.

2017 WSLHD Quality Awards finalist team photo - Not another DVT in the ED


Education and Training Award

ECAV - Aboriginal Qualification Pathway

Violence in Aboriginal communities is a complex issue: increasing the number of Aboriginal workers skilled in violence prevention can help tackle what is a deep-rooted problem.

The Aboriginal Qualification Pathway starts by training Aboriginal workers in community programs, and – working with the NSW Health Education Centre Against Violence and the University of Sydney - providing education all the way through to Masters level.

More than 270 people have graduated from it, specialising in areas including trauma counselling and social work.

The pathway has created systemic change and empowered communities to develop local strategies to respond and prevent violence and sexual assault. Both perpetrators and victims are willing to disclose more, and as a result future violence has been prevented.

2017 WSLHD Quality Awards finalist team photo - ECAV - Aboriginal Qualification Pathway


Bob Leece Award

Patient feedback - online, real time, anytime!

My Experience Matters was an Australian first, allowing patients, carers and families to provide real-time feedback on their experience at Westmead and Auburn hospitals through an online survey.

An average patient experience score is now on display on each hospital’s website. Examples of patient-inspired improvements, made as a result of feedback, are also shown – they could be something as easily fixed as a banging door, or suggestions to reduce noise at night.

More than 1300 surveys have been completed to date, and surveys have been rolled out at Blacktown and Mount Druitt hospitals as well. These patient insights are improving services across the district.

2017 WSLHD Quality Awards finalist team photo - Patient feedback - online, real time, anytime!