How will the Collaborative help patients?

By improving anaemia management for patients in the preoperative phase of care, the Collaborative may help to reduce the:

  • risk of postoperative infections and adverse reactions from blood products
  • risk of transfusion related inflammatory events
  • hospital length of stay
  • risk of readmission from infectious complications of transfusion
  • number of elective surgery cancellations.

How will the Collaborative help health services?

Participating in the Collaborative will contribute to:

  • strengthened compliance with the National Safety and Quality Health Service Standard 7: Blood and Blood Products
  • implementation of the National Blood Authority's Patient Blood Management Guidelines
  • continuous quality improvement in the work of the health service
  • enhanced data collection to support service improvement, accreditation and compliance
  • informing the development of local strategies to strengthen the elective surgery referral and treatment pathway
  • the development of local leaders
  • enhanced clinical engagement to support quality improvement in the health service.

What was the structure of the Collaborative?

The Collaborative commenced in April 2015 and data collection concluded in April 2017. An Orientation formally commenced the Collaborative and explained key concepts and requirements for participation. There were Learning Workshops throughout the Collaborative and after each Learning Workshop, Action Periods are held, during this time teams test ideas for improvement using the Model for Improvement (Plan, Do, Study, Act Cycles - PDSAs).

By testing ideas, monitoring activity and reporting on progress against targeted aims, teams were able to determine which ideas are successful and if they could lead to broader sustainable information. This information fed into the next Learning Cycle. The Learning Workshops will allow teams to share their experiences of local quality improvement processes; learn from colleagues; consult with experts in the field; gather new information; and develop ideas for improvement.

During Action Periods, teams will work towards implementing ideas within their health service, while maintaining contact with each other to share progress and improvements, monitor activity and report against targeted aims on a monthly basis.

What was required of the project team and health service?

The following was required of the health service team and health service:

  • the health service is the provider or part of a service network that undertakes elective surgery
  • demonstrated institutional support for participation in the Collaborative, with Chief Executive sign-off
  • demonstrated commitment to project governance through a new or existing committee, which includes participation by nominated executive staff. Nominated key staff must include a senior clinical lead, clinician and project officer
  • commitment of local necessary resources to support the conduct of the Collaborative, and enable:
    • nominated key staff to attend the Orientation and Learning Workshops
    • nominated key staff to dedicate time to work on PBM during learning cycles
    • submission of appropriate reports and data against targeted aims during each action period
  • determine and organise approvals that may be required such as ethics and other matters
  • consider the volume of surgery so clinical quality improvement can be achieved
  • indicate a minimum threshold for each of the categories of surgery that will be included in the Collaborative

Is my health service part of a service network for elective surgery?

The Commission recognised the diversity of organisational arrangements in place across jurisdictions, such as: Local Health Networks (LHN) and Local Health Districts (LHD); and, geographic service or clinical networks within an LHN/LHD. For the purpose of the Collaborative, the Commission recognised that a health service may compromise: a single hospital; a group of hospitals; or, a group of hospitals partnering with general practitioners.

Does our health service need to participate in all three streams of surgery?

No. However, the volume of surgery in your selected stream(s) of surgery would need to be sufficient to be able to demonstrate changes in the measures over time. As a guide, a minimum volume of 30 surgeries per month would be considered sufficient to demonstrate change in the measures over time.

What support and resources the Commission provide?

The Commission provided the following to participating health service teams:

  • Orientation and Learning Workshops
  • travel and accommodation, for up to three key staff, to attend the orientation and learning workshops
  • Patient Blood Management (PBM) education, training and tools, including:
    • web portal (qiConnect) for communication and transfer of data
    • analytical support and generation of performance reports
    • PBM forums for ongoing discussions and communication
    • expert support, available both on-site and through the web portal
  • a package of resources to meet the individual needs of each team, which may include funding to support the appointment of project staff or employee backfill to attend Collaborative activities

Can our health service communicate and publish data and results obtained during the Collaborative?

The Commission will partner with participants in communications and publications on the Collaborative. During the Collaborative, if participating health services wish to make public their own results, there would be no objection. The Commission will provide processes for communication during the Collaborative. If participating health services wish to report more broadly on the progress of the Collaborative or comparators, this would need to be discussed with the Commission.