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Healthy serve: Prof Wallace

Posted 30 March 2017

Like it or not, health is a service industry - it’s just that we are not that good at engaging our customers, CEO of newly-formed Safer Care Victoria said this week.

The straight-talking former head of Director of Obstetrics at Monash Health, stepped into the role after leading the investigation into avoidable baby deaths at Djerriwarrh Health service.

He was speaking at the VHA event Building a high-performance health service with Dr John Øvretveit

“It was clear to me that Djerriwarrh is far from an isolated case,” he said.

While clinical governance continues to be a major buzz phrase in the sector it is beset with a fundamental challenge, said Prof Wallace one of Australia's leaders in clinical governance, safety and quality in maternity services.

“I don’t think people in the sector – clinicians included – actually know what clinical governance even is! Better to use ‘patient safety’, it’s more authentic”, said Prof Wallace.

He is being applauded for ensuring clinicians are included in policy and decision making.

“I think clinical engagement is one key innovation of Safer Care Victoria. It’s so important.

“When clinicians are measurably engaged, there is lower staff turnover and absenteeism, decreased infection rates, increased patient satisfaction and lower patient mortality.

“We (Safer Care Victoria) are up for changing our plans in the best interest of the sector,” says Prof Wallace, who has more than 230 peer-reviewed publications relating to his research.

Safer Care Victoria is the agency dedicated to monitoring and improving quality and safety to work towards zero avoidable harm in Victoria’s health system.

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