Caring for our community
The Living Well Together strategy guides how we provide care to our community. It is about consistency, accountability and sustainability in service delivery and patient care.
Based on the Studer framework, Living Well Together aims to provide staff with the tools and techniques to deliver a planned, consistent and disciplined approach to conducting business and caring for patients, ultimately improving patient safety and outcomes. Living Well Together reflects our CORE values.
Living Well Together focuses on teamwork – what we achieve, we achieve together, regardless of what role we play. Whether you’re a Chief Executive, Social Worker, Administrative Assistant, Clinical Nurse Consultant, Cleaner or New Graduate, Living Well Together is designed to help deliver the best possible experience and outcomes for our patients. Not just sometimes, not just once in a while, but every time.
Living Well Together also allows us to focus on providing our staff with purpose, worthwhile work and the opportunity to make a difference to their colleagues and to the patients they serve.
Our community deserves world class care and our staff deserve to feel great about their jobs when they know they have given their best and made a difference to their patients. People in health care often have a very personal story to tell about why they became a caring professional, and we want to support them to fulfil that dream.
Working in healthcare is a demanding profession and a vital one. How our staff deliver care shapes the patient experience and has a direct, measurable impact on patient outcomes in areas such as falls and pressure wounds.
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Our pledge to you, our patient
In 2015 and 2016 we made a very public commitment to the community in Western NSW by signing the Patient Pledge. This means patients will know exactly what to expect from the care provided by staff at Western NSW Local Health District Health Services and Multipurpose Services as staff sign up to patient pledges.
The Patient Pledge or Resident Pledge will be displayed in each facility.
Western NSW Local Health District Board Chairman Robin Williams and Chief Executive Scott McLachlan signed up to the pledge in Bathurst on 7th October, 2015 in the presence of community representatives from health councils from seven nearby surrounding communities.
“The signing of the pledges shows the commitment that our staff have to providing care to our patients in a respectful, caring and timely way,” Mr McLachlan said.
“We are firmly committed to putting the patient at the very heart of everything that we do and every decision that we make. The pledge sets expectations of our staff behaviour and demonstrates our commitment to patient-centred care.”
The pledge signing is part of a broader strategy for the organisation called Living Well Together which underpins the way in which the Health District does business in accordance with its CORE values of Collaboration, Openness, Respect and Empowerment.
The Living Well Together strategy aims to engage staff to achieve excellent patient care and improve the patient experience.
“The Pledge will confirm to patients that their caregiver is committed to taking wonderful care of them which helps to reduce their anxiety. Their family is also comforted to know that their loved ones are in good hands,” Mr McLachlan said.
“From our staff perspective, signing the Pledge sets the standard of care that is expected of them – always. It demonstrates the difference that making a commitment like this makes in the work they do every day.”
Patients will have access to the ‘Pledge’ at their bedside and are encouraged to speak to the person in charge of the unit if they are concerned about their care.
“Our commitment to these standards and behaviours is not optional and staff can expect feedback from their manager should these minimum expected standards of clinical care not be provided,” Mr McLachlan said.
“It also means we can easier recognise high performance in staff, which is another important aspect of Living Well Together.”
Patient care boards
In 2015 we initiated Patient Care Boards and Resident Care Boards as an essential communication tool central to the bedside rounding process to be implemented as part of our Living Well Together strategy.
Patient Care Boards are located at the bedside and are updated at each shift by staff and also as changes occur. Patients and families are also encouraged to contribute by writing on the boards. Patient Care Boards have been found to improve communication between staff, patients and their carers, improving patient safety and patient engagement in their ongoing care.
Bedside Rounding and Patient Care Boards have been found to reduce adverse events including patient falls, medication errors, and pressure injuries and to improve patient experience.
As well as enhancing excellent outcomes for patients, there are positive flow-on effects from bedside rounding and the use of Patient Care Boards. These flow-on effects include improved staff satisfaction, motivation and engagement.
Rounding conversations with patients
As part of our Living Well Together strategy we have also begun to initiate purposeful ‘rounding’ conversations with patients. Holding purposeful conversations with patients helps leaders to demonstrate to our patients and families our commitment to provide very good care.
By interacting with patients and families on a consistent basis, our leaders are able to validate the standard of care provided, ensure safety and quality and proactively support, recognise and coach staff by sharing feedback.
Rounding conversations with patients also provide an opportunity to ensure expectations are met and allows us to look for opportunities to address issues for immediate service recovery.