Victoria has made progress in improving its clinical governance, but does not have a fully operational state-wide incident management system, according to the latest audit by the Victorian Auditor-General’s Office (VAGO) .
In 2016, the Victorian government commissioned the Targeting zero report, following a cluster of baby deaths at Djerriwarrh Health Services. The report found that the then Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) was not effectively leading and overseeing quality and safety across the healthcare system and recommended that VAGO monitor progress. of the ministry in improving clinical governance.
In February of this year, the DHHS was split between the Department of Health (DH) and the Department of Family, Equity and Housing.
The recent VAGO audit looked at how DH – including Safer Care Victoria (SCV) and the Victorian Agency for Health Information (VAHI) – managed quality and safety risks across the healthcare system and looked at how it produces and uses information to identify and reduce risk.
The Office of the Auditor General found that the Ministry had made some clinical improvements in government and that its risk management approach no longer masked the poor quality and safety performance of public health services.
The SCV also worked with health services to improve notification of sentinel events, but the ministry’s ability to reasonably assure Victorians of the quality and safety of the health system was further limited for the following reasons:
- It cannot guarantee that health services operate within the framework of safe clinical practice.
- It cannot regularly and easily detect trends and risks throughout the system.
- Victoria still does not have a fully operational statewide incident management system.
- VAHI, DH’s specialist analysis and reporting unit, strives to improve its reporting, but there is much more that can be done to systematically provide timely, meaningful and actionable information that highlights risks and opportunities. ‘improvement.
The Office of the Auditor General made 18 recommendations aimed at improving the department’s systems and processes for managing and detecting quality and safety risks throughout the health system. The Department accepted all of the recommendations.