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HIQA notes improvement in safety and quality in public acute hospitals

HIQA has published an overview report on its ­monitoring activity in healthcare services in Ireland between January 2015 and December 2019.

It identifies areas of progress that it concludes have been driven through HIQA monitoring across public acute hospitals, and also some outstanding areas still left for improvement.

“Our experience over the last five years, as outlined through this report, shows how a focus on monitoring compliance with national standards has contributed to tangible improvements and change across public acute hospitals, to ensure the delivery of safer better healthcare,” said HIQA’s Director of Regulation, Mary Dunnion.

“This, combined with some increased investment in certain areas, better collective learning and more effective systems of oversight of performance in services, has contributed to improved quality and safety of these healthcare services.”

Since 2015, HIQA has carried out over 260 inspections in public acute hospitals to assess the quality of care in internationally-recognised areas such as infection prevention and control, medication safety, maternity services, and nutrition and hydration.

In a statement HIQA said it has seen an improvement within the acute hospital system’s long-term ability to sustainably address this area of risk – “something that will continue to prove critical as the health system responds to Covid-19.”

Sean Egan, HIQA’s Head of Healthcare, said: “We believe that overall, healthcare governance and risk management structures have improved in public acute hospitals over the past five years.

“Our findings demonstrate the importance of how good governance and management, strengthened by an ethos of staff professionalism and team working, is the first line of defence when providing safe, high-quality and reliable healthcare.”

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