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The Sydney Clinic

MyHealthscope - Quality and Safety

At The Sydney Clinic, we take quality and safety seriously.

To provide you with information about our performance, The Sydney Clinic publishes data which measures the quality and safety of our services. This is only one part of our program to continually maintain and improve our high standards. It reflects our commitment to our patients, staff and specialists, in line with Healthscope's Purpose: We work together for better care.

At The Sydney Clinic, quality is not just one simple measure. It includes many aspects of care and of a patient's experience.

Please click on the menu below to view data for each of the indicators we publish.

The Sydney Clinic is fully accredited against the National Safety and Quality Health Service Standards (NSQHSS), a mandatory set of standards established by the Australian Government for all public and private hospitals.

Accreditation involves a visit to the hospital from an independent team of expert health professionals who review the quality and safety of services provided. This occurs every three years, in accordance with the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care. The hospital is measured against eight overarching standards with many different criteria, including patient-centred care, medication management, clinical handover, infection prevention and staff education.

At the most recent survey in March 2017, The Sydney Clinic achieved full accreditation. The hospital’s accreditation report can be viewed here.

At The Sydney Clinic, we are committed to providing patients with the best possible experience during their hospital stay. Patient experience often reflects the personal side of care. To evaluate how well we meet patient needs, we invite our patients to complete a survey after discharge. We have based our survey on the Your Experience of Service survey (YES) developed by the Australian Government Department of Health for mental health services. The Sydney Clinic commenced surveying using this tool in January 2018. Prior to this we used the US-based Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers System (HCAHPS) survey.

Completion of our survey is voluntary and anonymous. Most patients fill in their surveys online. We conduct surveys continually throughout the year, which provides us with feedback that is more accurate than periodic surveys. Sample size has been building as we focus on electronic rather than paper survey formats.

Our senior hospital staff have access to The Sydney Clinic’s survey results via an electronic Patient Experience Portal. This allows them to review feedback immediately and identify any opportunities for improvement. Maintaining anonymity, both positive and negative patient comments are shared with relevant staff. This is part of our commitment to provide the best possible experience for our patients.

The Sydney Clinic’s survey results are also monitored by the Quality Department at Healthscope Corporate Office. Reports are presented to senior management and the Board.

One of our key questions is about the overall rating of treatment and care, which can be rated on a scale of 1 to 5, from ‘very poor’ to ‘very good’. The graph below shows the percentage of patients who have rated their overall treatment and care from ‘very good’ to ‘very poor’ for the period of time indicated.

This graph shows that the majority of patients rate their overall treatment and care at The Sydney Clinic as ‘very good’ or ‘good’. [Data correct as at 25/10/2018.]

What are we doing to improve patient experience?

The Sydney Clinic employs a variety of strategies to improve patient experience. These include:

  • hospital management monitoring the feedback provided by patients - including the ratings of overall treatment and care - and taking action to address any areas of concern
  • ongoing staff education and program development to ensure that care is person-focused, meets patients’ needs and is of the highest standard
  • employing Consumer Consultants to engage with patients and families and provide feedback from a patient’s or carer’s perspective
  • involving patients in their care, for example by encouraging their participation in shift handover and community meetings
  • consulting with Healthscope’s National Patient Experience Manager to assist the hospital in implementing strategies to enhance patient experience

At The Sydney Clinic, we measure the mental health of patients on admission and again on discharge, to see how they are improving. We use the internationally recognised HoNOS (Health of the Nation Outcome Scales), a tool which allows clinicians to assess various aspects of a patient's mental health, such as depression, anxiety or problematic behaviour.

The graph below shows the decrease in mental health problems in patients after treatment. The dark coloured bars represent mental health problems on admission to The Sydney Clinic. The pale coloured bars represent mental health problems on discharge. This is compared to the outcomes at other Australian private mental health facilities, shown in the grey bars.

HONOS Scores

This graph shows that patients' mental health problems have decreased after treatment. Patients at The Sydney Clinic achieve improvement similar to patients in other private hospitals.

Mental Health Questionnaires

It is important to ask patients whether they think their mental has improved during their hospital admission. We use the MHQ–14 (Mental Health Questionnaire) which asks questions about symptoms of fatigue, anxiety and depression and the impact of those in daily life.

The graph below shows the improvement in patients' self-assessed mental health ratings. The dark coloured bars represent the rating on admission to The Sydney Clinic. The pale coloured bars represent the ratings on discharge. This is compared to the outcomes at other Australian private mental health facilities, shown in the grey bars.

This graph shows that patients feel that their mental health has improved after treatment. Patients at The Sydney Clinic achieve improvement similar to patients at other Australian private mental health facilities.

What are we doing to improve mental health outcomes?

The Sydney Clinic employs a variety of strategies to improve our patients' mental health outcomes. These include:

  • a multidisciplinary approach, including expert nursing and allied health professionals
  • group therapy, counselling and other kinds of therapy
  • regular review of patient medication to ensure it is optimal
  • involving family and carers in treatment, with the patient's consent

If you are worried about your mental health, or that of someone close to you, there are people who can help you right now:

  • Lifeline Australia - 13 11 14
  • Kids Helpline - 1800 55 1800
  • Mens Line Australia - 1300 78 99 78
  • Suicide Call Back Service - 1300 659 467
  • Beyond Blue - 1300 224 636
  • Veterans and Veterans' Families Counselling Service - 1800 011 046

    The Sydney Clinic follows strict infection control procedures, and staff take every precaution to prevent infections. Specialised infection control staff collect and analyse data on infections in order to identify and implement best practices to reduce infection rates.

    Patients with weakened immune systems, with wounds and with invasive devices such as drips are at greater risk of infection than the general public.

    There are several types of infections that we closely monitor at The Sydney Clinic. Two of the most important are:

    • Staphylococcus Aureus Bacteraemia – also known as SAB. This is a serious infection caused by bacteria entering the blood stream.
    • Clostridium Difficile - also known as C Diff. This is an infection of the bowel that causes diarrhoea.

    The graph below shows the number of Staphylococcus Aureus infections. The coloured bars represent The Sydney Clinic's rate. This is compared to the Australian Government target, shown in the grey bar. The national benchmark for SAB is no more than 2 cases per 10,000 days of patient care.

    This graph shows that there have been no SAB infections at The Sydney Clinic in recent years.

    The graph below shows the number of Clostridium Difficile infections. The coloured bars represent The Sydney Clinic's rate. This is compared to the rate in other Australian hospitals, shown in the grey bars. The industry rate varies from 2 to 3 cases per 10,000 days of patient care.

    This graph shows that there have been no cases of Clostridium Difficile infection at The Sydney Clinic in recent years.

    To find out how we generated this data, see: Infection Rate Formulas

    What are we doing to prevent infection?

    The Sydney Clinic employs a variety of strategies to prevent infections. These include:

    • auditing how often staff wash their hands using soap and water or hand sanitiser
    • using gloves and specialised sterile equipment
    • assigning a dedicated Infection Control Nurse responsible for educating staff and implementing infection control strategies
    • using specialised disinfectants when cleaning facilities
    • following national guidelines for high level disinfection and sterilisation processes
    • placing hand sanitiser dispensers in public areas throughout the hospital so that they are readily accessible to staff, patients and visitors

    What can you do to help?

    At The Sydney Clinic, patients and visitors are part of the health care team. There are a number of things you can do to reduce the risk of infection for yourself and others:

    • Wash your hands carefully with soap and water or use hand sanitiser upon entering the hospital.
    • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Clean your hands afterwards – every time!
    • If you don't have a tissue available, cough or sneeze into your elbow, not your hand.
    • As a patient, report any infection you have had, especially if you are still on antibiotics.
    • Make sure you take the full course of antibiotics you have been given, even if you are feeling better.
    • If you have a dressing for a wound, keep the skin around the dressing clean and dry. Let the healthcare worker looking after you know promptly if it becomes loose or wet.
    • Tell your healthcare worker if the area around any drips, tubes or drains inserted into your body becomes red, swollen or painful.
    • Let the healthcare worker looking after you know if your room or equipment hasn't been cleaned properly.
    • Stop smoking before any surgery, as smoking increases the risk of infection.

    Visitors

    • Don't visit if you have an illness such as a cough, cold or gastroenteritis ('gastro').
    • Wash your hands carefully with soap and water or use hand sanitiser when entering and leaving a patient’s room.

    For more information about how you can help:

    Hand Hygiene is another name for hand washing or cleaning. Good hand hygiene is an important part of infection control. Germs can survive on unwashed hands for over an hour, and we can unknowingly transmit bacteria and viruses to others.

    All Healthscope staff are required to frequently wash their hands with soap and water or with waterless hand sanitiser. Both are equally effective. We follow the World Health Organisation's guidelines for hand hygiene, which specify the following times when health care staff must wash their hands:

    • before touching a patient
    • after touching a patient
    • before a procedure
    • after a procedure
    • after touching a patient’s belongings or surroundings

    At The Sydney Clinic, we use auditors who are accredited by Hand Hygiene Australia to record whether or not hand hygiene has been performed correctly. The graph below shows the levels of hand hygiene compliance. The coloured bars represent The Sydney Clinic's rate. This is compared to the Australian national benchmark of 80%, shown in the grey bar.

    This graph shows that hand hygiene compliance at The Sydney Clinic has been improving in recent years.

    When audits are performed, each professional group is checked – including doctors, nurses, cleaners and other hospital staff.

    The first graph below on the left shows which groups were audited. The graph on the right shows the hand hygiene compliance rate for different staff within the hospital. It shows that the compliance rate for doctors and nurses is higher than for other staff.


    What are we doing to improve hand hygiene compliance?

    The Sydney Clinic employs a variety of strategies to improve hand hygiene compliance. These include:

    • ongoing education programs for staff about infections and hand hygiene
    • a designated Infection Control Nurse responsible for educating staff and implementing infection control strategies
    • placement of hand sanitiser dispensers in convenient areas throughout the hospital, including hallways and patient rooms
    • use of specially designed washbasins where water can be turned on and off without touching the tap

    What can you do to help?

    At The Sydney Clinic, patients and visitors are part of the health care team. Good hand hygiene is the most important way in which patients and visitors can prevent the spread of infection in hospital. There are a number of things you can do:

    • Wash your hands carefully with soap and water or use hand sanitiser upon entering and leaving the hospital.
    • Wash your hands carefully with soap and water or use hand sanitiser when entering and leaving a patient’s room.
    • Observe hospital signage about hand hygiene.
    • If you are unable to find a hand sanitiser station, please ask staff for assistance.

    For more information about how you can help:

    Falls are a leading cause of hospital-acquired injury and frequently prolong or complicate hospital stays. Patients may experience a fall because they are weakened by a medical condition or after an accident or injury.

    The graph below shows the percentage of patients who have had a fall. The coloured bars represent The Sydney Clinic's rate. This is compared to the rate of falls at other Australian hospitals, shown in the grey bar.

    This graph shows that patients at The Sydney Clinic have a lower rate of falls than patients in other Australian hospitals.

    See details on: How we work out our falls rate
    For a discussion on the data, see: Limitations of data

    What are we doing to prevent patient falls?

    The Sydney Clinic employs a variety of strategies to minimise the risk of patients falling. These include:

    • risk assessments to identify patients at risk of falling
    • ongoing staff education on falls prevention
    • patient education on prevention of falls in hospital and at home
    • use of safety equipment such as lifting hoists, walking aids and chair or bed sensors that alert staff when a patient at risk of falling gets up unassisted
    • review of each fall to assess if there were any preventable factors

    What can you do to help?

    At The Sydney Clinic, patients and visitors are part of the health care team. You may like to print a brochure containing handy hints about preventing falls. You can also watch a helpful video.

    Brochure: Don't Fall For It

    Video: Speak Up Reduce Your Risk of Falling

    Following discharge from hospital, patients sometimes require an unplanned readmission. There are many reasons why a patient may need to return to hospital.

    Good discharge planning can help reduce the rate of unplanned readmissions. This includes making follow-up arrangements, providing patients with clear instructions and helping them recognise symptoms that require immediate medical attention.

    The graph below shows the percentage of patients who have required an unplanned readmission within 28 days of their first admission. The coloured bar represents The Sydney Clinic's rate. This is compared to the rate of unplanned readmissions at other Australian mental health hospitals, shown in the grey bar.

    This graph shows that in recent years, patients admitted to The Sydney Clinic have been less likely to have an unplanned readmission than patients at other Australian mental health hospitals.

    Please note: The unplanned readmission rates presented in this graph only include patients who have been admitted to the same hospital. Currently, we have no way of measuring unplanned readmissions to a different hospital.

    What are we doing to prevent unplanned readmissions?

    The Melbourne Clinic employs a variety of strategies to minimise unplanned readmissions. These include:

    • discharge processes which ensure that patients understand their medications and any specific instructions
    • arranging appropriate follow-up care and ongoing appointments, e.g. with the General Practitioner or therapist
    • reviewing each unplanned readmission to assess if there were any preventable factors

    The Sydney Clinic supports transparent public reporting of healthcare quality data and actively participates in initiatives of the following organisations.

    Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Healthcare (ACSQHC) – The Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Healthcare (the Commission) was established in 2006 by the Australian, State and Territory Governments to lead and coordinate national improvement in safety and quality. Healthscope has representation on the Private Hospital Sector Advisory Committee and several key working groups.

    Australian Institute of Health and Welfare - The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) is a major national agency set up by the Australian Government under the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare Act to provide reliable, regular and relevant information and statistics on Australia's health and welfare.

    MyHospitals Website – This website lists all public and private hospitals in Australia, along with information about waiting times for elective surgery and emergency department access. Healthscope has representation on the MyHospitals Development Advisory Committee.

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