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Auckland City Surgical Services: managing risk and incidents in health & safety

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Auckland City Surgical Services (ACSS) is a day-stay facility, offering a range of surgical services and post-operative care, including general gynaecology, skin cancer, plastic and cosmetic surgery, and fertility.

We recently spoke with Bonnie Buchan, who looks after infection control and health and safety at ACSS, to learn more about how the organisation is embedding LogiqcQMS to build a culture of continuous learning and improvement.

Why did you decide to implement LogiqcQMS initially, and how has the system expanded in scope over the past four years?

I was looking for a system where we could better manage incidents within the building and keep our people safe and accountable. At the same time, we were going through an audit and the auditors recommended that a good document management system would be beneficial to track changes to policies. One of the platforms referred to was LogiqcQMS. We spoke with someone who was using it in their business and was so impressed with how the system worked, which convinced us to get LogiqcQMS for ourselves.

It’s since spread into every orifice in the business – which is a good thing! While the big push at the beginning was to get all our existing policies in their present form uploaded to LogiqcQMS, it’s now much more holistic. We use LogiqcQMS to track training and compliance tasks, as well as infection control audits, and incidents. It’s taken a little while to get staff to realise that incidents are not negative, but rather, an opportunity to create an improvement. Any other hospital I’ve worked in, incident reporting is associated with ‘blame’, but there is a different culture and mindset here, and LogiqcQMS has certainly been beneficial in that.

We started with a fairly large block of different registers, including compliance, audits and incidents but have recently consolidated and added the feedback register. We are also keen to add the new asset and maintenance register, as we currently use a spreadsheet for this.

What challenges have you faced in embedding the LogiqcQMS across an organisation where patient-service is the key focus for most of the team?

There hasn’t been any one challenge in particular, it’s more about getting people into the mindset that the computer and LogiqcQMS are their friends, rather than it being ‘too much to deal with’. It’s about reinforcing to people that the documents they’re searching for are in Logiqc, not in old books or drawers – and not to photocopy outdated versions! It’s understandable though, as these behaviours are ingrained after many years following a certain process, not just in our practice, but in all the practices they have worked in.

We’ve also added a printing limit in our document policy to avoid people from printing hundreds of sheets of something that is going to be defunct because of the next version coming out. It’s amazing how quickly things change when legislation changes! Some documents are even getting updated more regularly than their due date. It’s saving time and resources too, and we’re not throwing away as much paper as we used to, which of course is also good for the environment. It’s a matter of creating habits and instilling trust in the system that you don’t need to have back-ups saved to your desktop – you can access it any time, from anywhere.

We also try really hard when new people come into the organisation to reinforce that LogiqcQMS is the source of all the information they need.

How does LogiqcQMS support your organisation with continual learning and improvement?

It’s especially important for things like health and safety. I love it when someone puts an incident up because it won’t get lost until it’s dealt with. It’s a protection for the business financially too, it allows people to say that “we did the right thing”, or “we could have done things differently and this is how”. It makes us more conscientious of things that are happening within the organisation. Simplifying our risk register is a project on the horizon that we’re looking forward to tackling. We have a lot of risks listed, and sometimes the linked incidents are not really incidents. For example, unscheduled equipment maintenance. As we now have the repairs register to manage these tasks, they can be unlinked to the risks.

LogiqcQMS also allows individual staff members to fit training in at their convenience, as opposed to the convenience of the whole organisation. A lot of times, we’re flat out busy but there are some quiet moments where we can use our time productively and do the trainings that have been allocated. It allows team members to have a quick refresher and accomplish something towards their CPD.

How does LogiqcQMS help you manage tasks that have to be done, especially in relation to infection control and prevention?

You can’t put it away and ignore it, it keeps coming back to you – especially with daily notifications! It’s great that tasks don’t disappear, but also that you can reallocate the responsible person if someone doesn’t have the time to action the task or is away.

How do you think that LogiqcQMS supports time-poor teams?

In the past when our QMS was paper-based, we would have a folder and some people would be really organised and have it all indexed, but other times you wouldn’t be able to find the information you were looking for. LogiqcQMS takes away the hunt – the information is always where it’s supposed to be. This is so relevant for the audit process, as we can show the auditors that we have control over important documents such as policies and contracts. It really helps with time efficiency when you can direct new staff or agency staff straight to the document number to read it. It’s all in one place, nobody can misfile it – that’s the biggest thing.

Anything else you would like to add?

The Logiqc customer support team is second to none. We really appreciate the fact that anyone who has crossed our path either in person or on the phone doesn’t make us feel silly if some of the questions we ask are fairly straightforward. But at that point in time, when you’re not able to figure something out, this support is fantastic. People like me are still in the top layer, but as younger staff come on board, I’m sure they’ll be able to do a lot more with the system and it will eventually become more embedded into the business.

I tell anybody who is in the process of searching for a QMS platform to get LogiqcQMS – you won’t find anything better or easier. The auditors love it, being able to give them remote access is great as they can do so much of the groundwork remotely and limits the back and forth between us as well.

Manage safety, quality and risk in healthcare

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Manage safety, quality and risk in healthcare

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