Media releases

The Commission responds promptly to all media enquiries and provides regular media releases on matters relating to safety and quality in health care.

Media enquiries

Please direct all media enquiries to: communications@safetyandquality.gov.au

If the matter is urgent please contact:

Angela Jackson, Media and Communications Manager

(02) 9126 3513 / 0407 213 522 or angela.jackson@safetyandquality.gov.au

Media releases

2019

8 August

New Australian Charter of Healthcare Rights empowers patients as partners

A revised Australian Charter of Healthcare Rights to be launched today encourages people receiving health care in Australia to actively engage in decisions about their care with their healthcare provider.

30 May

Joint guideline update ensures best available evidence for the prevention and control of infection in healthcare

The National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC), in partnership with the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care (the Commission), today released the Australian Guidelines for the Prevention and Control of Infection in Healthcare (2019).

09 May

Third comprehensive report on antibiotic resistance identifies ongoing threat

The most comprehensive report produced on Australian antimicrobial use and resistance trends has found that antimicrobial use in the community is falling, but they continue to be overprescribed, while some dangerous bacteria are growing increasingly resistant to common antibiotics.

January 2019

Public consultation underway to boost the clinical trials sector

Reforms are underway to boost Australia’s clinical trials sector and attract more clinical trials – giving Australian patients increased access to potentially life-saving treatments and medications.

2018

11 December 2018

New Atlas shines light on wide variations in health care for Australians

A major report released today has found wide disparities in the use of some health treatments and investigations – revealing potentially adverse outcomes for the youngest members of the community as well as older Australians.

12 November 2018

Survey identifies opportunities to improve appropriate use of antibiotics in Australian hospitals

In 2017, around one-third of prescriptions for antimicrobials in participating Australian hospitals were assessed as not compliant with treatment guidelines. Almost 1 in 4 antimicrobial prescriptions were assessed as inappropriate.

11 October 2018

Blood clot prevention care to save lives and reduce $1.7b burden on health system

A new nationally agreed standard of care released today aims to reduce the tens of thousands of Australian lives put at risk each year by largely preventable blood clots, which kill four times more people than road accidents.

10 September 2018

Millions of Australians to benefit from national treatment standard for colonoscopy

The first nationally agreed standard of care for patients undergoing a colonoscopy says the complex procedure should only be offered if the benefits outweigh the risks.

17 August 2018

Review of hospital accreditation further embeds safety improvements in the Australian health care sector

A review of the Australian Health Service Safety and Quality Accreditation (AHSSQA) Scheme, released today by the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care (the Commission), identifies improvements to be made to the way that health services are assessed to the National Safety and Quality Health Service (NSQHS) Standards.

08 August 2018

National report on critical antimicrobial resistance highlights prevalence of CPE bacteria in hospitals and novel resistance in N. gonorrhoeae infections

Carbapenemase-producing enterobacteriaceae (also known as CPE) and Neisseria gonorrhoeae continue to be the most commonly reported organisms with critical resistances to antimicrobials across Australia, according to a national report released today.

02 August 2018

Launch of National Safety and Quality Health Service Standards User Guide for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health at COAG meeting

A practical resource to support health services deliver better and more appropriate health care to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people was launched today by the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care (the Commission) at the Council of Australian Governments' (COAG) meeting in Alice Springs.

28 February 2018

Rising antibiotic resistance in E. coli, the commonest cause of bloodstream infection

The bacterium Escherichia coli (E. coli), often thought of as a stomach bug, is in fact the most common bacterial cause of potentially dangerous bloodstream infections – and new data shows the germ responsible is becoming more resistant to the antibiotics doctors rely on to treat it.

13 February 2018

Antibiotic-resistant gonorrhoea drives bulk of rise in alerts

The number of antibiotic-resistant gonorrhoea samples reported to health authorities nearly trebled in the six months to September 2017, reinforcing worldwide concern over the spread of this and other types of dangerous drug-resistant bacteria.

2017

06 December 2017

Commission releases online module aimed at improving communication of risk

An e-module to help clinicians develop their skills in communicating risks and benefits with their patients has been made freely available to all clinicians today.

29 November 2017                                                                                      

Survey identifies opportunities to improve use of antibiotics to prevent post-surgical infections

More than half (60%) of antibiotics given to patients after surgery to prevent infections are prescribed inappropriately, usually because they are not required at all – a situation that may be contributing to the rise of antibiotic resistance.

10 November 2017

Launch of updated EMM guide to help make medication use in hospitals safer

The latest version of a guide to help hospitals implement electronic prescribing and reduce adverse drug events is being launched today by the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care.

20 October 2017

Women to benefit from first national treatment standard for heavy periods

The first nationally agreed standard of care for women experiencing heavy menstrual bleeding says women should be offered less invasive treatments before considering a hysterectomy – a major operation best done only when other treatments are not suitable.

10 October 2017

Australia joins international push to halve medication errors

A global drive to reduce medication errors by 50% within five years will be launched in Brisbane today, as part of a new push by the World Health Organization to save lives and reduce the harm caused by medication mix-ups.

03 August 2017

Comprehensive report on antibiotic resistance identifies new challenges

A comprehensive national report on the spread of antimicrobial resistance in Australia has highlighted a number of specific types of bacteria as major emerging healthcare problems, with one type in particular causing resistance to last-resort antibiotics in just over half of hospital samples.

01 August 2017

Clinical trials pay off for safety, quality and the economy

The cost of clinical trials investigating gaps in medical evidence is outweighed almost six to one by the savings that flow from the health improvements experienced by patients, and the direct savings to the health system and wider economy.

27 July 2017

Professor Villis Marshall AC reappointed as Chairman of the Commission

One of Australia’s most distinguished and respected healthcare leaders, Professor Villis Marshall AC, has been reappointed to the role of Board Chair for the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care to guide the organisation for a further three years.

19 July 2017

New system spotlights spread of antibiotic resistance

A new surveillance system set up to provide early warning of the spread of dangerous bacteria has detected more than 1,000 cases across Australia resistant to last-line antibiotics – giving experts much better and more timely information to help combat the threat of antimicrobial resistance.

5 July 2017

Australia’s hospitals helping the fight against antibiotic resistance

Use of antibiotics has dropped markedly in Australian hospitals, new figures show – a shift that will help slow the spread of antibiotic resistant germs that cause dangerous infections that are difficult to treat.

7 June 2017

Second Atlas highlights opportunities for healthcare improvement

A landmark new report to be launched today shows large variations in the provision of common health treatments across the country – giving health experts and clinicians valuable new information that will help to ensure more patients get the most effective and appropriate care.

5 June 2017

Fit for surgery – the National Patient Blood Management Collaborative

Evidence-based management of anaemia and iron deficiency before surgery greatly improves patient care, an innovative project led by the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Heath Care has shown. The project, which has representation from 12 health services and is known as the National Patient Blood Management Collaborative (the Collaborative), aimed to increase the number of patients who had their haemoglobin and iron stores optimised before elective surgery.

19 May 2017

New Clinical Care Standard sets the benchmark for treating knee osteoarthritis

Surgery should be considered a last resort for the treatment of knee osteoarthritis, under a new clinical care standard released today by the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care and which is designed to help patients get the best care.

11 May 2017

Time with your doctor is precious: We can help you make the most of it

A tool to help people make the most of their medical appointments has been launched today, Thursday 11 May. Called Question Builder, the tool guides patients through a series of steps, from selecting which type of appointment they are preparing for, to selecting the most important questions to ask first. It then creates a list of questions that a patient can print or email to themselves, or someone else, and take to their medical appointment.

03 May 2017

Hand hygiene and fighting antibiotic resistance go hand-in-hand

Friday 5 May is international Hand Hygiene Day, and the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care (the Commission) is joining the World Health Organization to highlight the role that clean hands can play in preserving the effectiveness of antibiotic medicines.

2016

3 November 2016

A new platform to explore Australia’s healthcare variation

A new online interactive tool allows users to explore data in the Australian Atlas of Healthcare Variation (the atlas) in more detail, zooming in on maps and comparing data.

13 September 2016

New standard to improve hip fracture care

Patients with hip fracture should receive surgery within 48 hours of arriving at hospital and start moving around the day after surgery, if possible, according to a new care standard launched by the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care.

15 July 2016

Delirium Clinical Care Standard to improve care and prevention

The Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care (the Commission) has released a Delirium Clinical Care Standard to support safe, high quality and appropriate care for patients with, or at risk of delirium.

16 June 2016

Australia’s most comprehensive report on antibiotic resistance released

The Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care (the Commission) has released a landmark report outlining the most comprehensive picture of antimicrobial resistance, antimicrobial use and appropriateness of prescribing in Australia to date.

5 May 2016

App to support reduction of radiation exposure from CTs for children and young people

The Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care (the Commission) and the Western Australian Department of Health have developed the DIP 4 Kids App to support a reduction in unwarranted exposure to radiation from CT scans for children.

28 January 2016

Caring for Cognitive Impairment – A National Campaign

The Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care has launched a national campaign to improve knowledge and care practices to provide better outcomes and reduce the risk of harm to people with cognitive impairment in hospital.

2015

26 November 2015

Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care launches first Australian Atlas of Healthcare Variation

The Honourable Sussan Ley, Australian Minister for Health, launches the first national healthcare ‘atlas’, illuminating variation in health care provision across Australia. The Australian Atlas of Healthcare Variation presents a clear picture of substantial variation in healthcare use across Australia, across areas such as antibiotic prescribing, surgical, mental health and diagnostic services.

16 November 2015

Increasing awareness of appropriate use of antibiotics in Australia: health and agriculture join together for Antibiotic Awareness Week

World Antibiotic Awareness Week (16-22 November 2015) aims to increase awareness of the growing problem of global antibiotic resistance, and encourage best practice across the health, veterinary and agriculture sectors in using antibiotics responsibly.

4 September 2015

New report shows wide variation in antimicrobial usage in Australian hospitals

A new report on antimicrobial use in Australian hospitals shows there is wide variation in usage between hospitals, indicating that although overall usage rates have decreased slightly in recent years, there is still considerable room for improvement. The report, Antimicrobial use in Australian hospitals: 2014 report of the National Antimicrobial Utilisation Surveillance Program (NAUSP), released today by the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care (the Commission), provides important information on how much antimicrobials are being used in Australian hospitals.

24 August 2015

New resources help parents and clinicians better understand the benefits and risks of CT scans for children and young people

The Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care (the Commission) has today released a range of resources aimed at reducing unnecessary radiation exposure to children and young people from computed tomography scans (CT scans).

24 July 2015

Latest report shows room for improvement in antimicrobial use in Australian hospitals

The latest report on antimicrobial prescribing practices provides important information about the rate and appropriateness of antimicrobial use in Australian hospitals. The report, National Antimicrobial Prescribing Practice: results of the 2014 National Antimicrobial Prescribing Survey (NAPS), was released by the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care (the Commission) and the National Centre for Antimicrobial Stewardship (NCAS) at the Peter Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity.

10 June 2015

Ministers launch new clinical standard for improving care to patients with stroke

Improving the early assessment and management of patients with stroke is the focus of a new Clinical Care Standard, which was launched today at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital by the Honourable Sussan Ley, Australian Government Minister for Health and the Honourable Jillian Skinner, NSW Minister for Health.  

28 May 2015

Health Ministers endorse new approach to end-of-life care in hospitals

A new consensus statement describing the essential elements for providing safe and high-quality care at the end of life has been endorsed by the Australian Health Ministers as the national approach to the delivery of end-of-life care in Australian hospitals. The consensus statement was launched today by the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care (the Commission) at St Vincent’s Private Hospital, Brisbane, as part of National Palliative Care Week.  

2014

4 December 2014

New clinical standard to improve care to patients with heart attacks or suspected heart attacks

Thousands of Australians are affected by acute coronary syndromes (heart attacks and suspected heart attacks) every year. Despite well-developed management guidelines, there are regional variations in treatment interventions across Australia. Improving early, accurate diagnosis and management of acute coronary syndromes is the focus of a new standard for clinical care which was launched today by the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care (the Commission).  

19 November 2014

New report provides insights into antibiotic prescribing in 151 Australian hospitals

A national report released today as part of Antibiotic Awareness Week, provides important information about antibiotic prescribing practices in a number of Australian hospitals. The report, National Antimicrobial Prescribing Practice: Results of the 2013 National Antimicrobial Prescribing Survey (NAPS), was released by the Melbourne Health National Health Medical Research Council (NHMRC) Centre for Antimicrobial Stewardship and the Commission.  

18 November 2014

New standard for clinical care to help in fight against antibiotic resistance

Australia has one of the highest rates of antibiotic use in the developed world, with around 22 million prescriptions written every year in primary care alone. In hospitals, 30% of antibiotics prescribed are used inappropriately*. A new standard for clinical care, which will drive appropriate use of antibiotics, was launched today by the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care (the Commission). The launch of the Antimicrobial Stewardship Clinical Care Standard coincides with Antibiotic Awareness Week, a global initiative to raise awareness of antibiotic resistance and promote the responsible use of antibiotics.  

17 November 2014

Leaders in health and agriculture join together to promote appropriate antibiotic use

Today marks the beginning of international Antibiotic Awareness Week and Australian experts in human and animal health have joined forces to highlight the escalating problem of antimicrobial resistance (AMR). Australia’s Chief Medical Officer, Professor Chris Baggoley said, “AMR is a global public health issue and continues to be one of the major threats to human health. There is a real concern that without new antibiotics in the development pipeline some infections will be difficult or impossible to treat.”  

5 November 2014

A better way to care for patients with cognitive impairment in hospital

Improving the safety and quality of care for patients with cognitive impairment (dementia and delirium) is the focus of new resources launched today by the Commission. Cognitive impairment is common among older people admitted to hospital. Around 30 per cent of patients in Australian hospitals who are aged over 70 have some form of cognitive impairment.  

16 October 2014

National launch of Vital Signs 2014: the state of safety and quality in Australian health care

Professor Villis Marshall, Chair of the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care, today released Vital Signs 2014: The State of Safety and Quality in Australian Health Care. Vital Signs 2014 provides an overview of a series of key topics in relation to the safety and quality of Australia’s health care system.  

3 October 2014

Mental Health: The elephant in the room

It’s time to start talking about mental health. There remains a stigma about mental illness in mainstream Australia. The Australian Private Hospital’s Association (APHA) has launched a campaign to address the stigma head on, in a confronting and yet non-threatening way. Coinciding with Mental Health Week (5-12 October 2014), ‘The Elephant in the Room’ campaign aims to raise awareness of the prevalence of mental illness and encourage all Australians to speak openly about the issue.  

16 September 2014

OECD report finds variation in common procedures across Australia

The management of common health conditions varies considerably depending upon where people live, according to an OECD Report released today. The report, Geographic Variations in Health Care: What do we know and what can be done to improve health system performance?, examines regional variation in the rates of several common hospital interventions both within and between 13 participating countries.  

3 September 2014

Commission and jurisdiction partners receive award for excellence at APAC Forum 

We are very pleased to announce the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care’s (the Commission) success at the APAC Forum - Asia Pacific’s premier healthcare conference. The Commission and the Australian, state and territory health departments received the award for National Partnership in the Implementation of Improved Safety Systems for Patients for implementation of the National Safety and Quality Health Service (NSQHS) Standards.  

25 August 2014

Addressing health literacy through a new national approach

Almost 60% of Australians have a low level of individual health literacy. This is important to the safety, quality and effectiveness of health care, according to the National Statement on Health Literacy (national statement) released today by the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care (the Commission). Low levels of individual health literacy contribute to poorer health outcomes, increased risk of an adverse event and higher healthcare costs.

9 July 2014

Improving the safety and quality of health care for the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Community

The introduction of the National Safety and Quality Health Service (NSQHS) Standards, and assessment against these Standards in the acute sector is driving changes in health service delivery and improving patient safety and the quality of care provided.  It is hoped that these changes will improve health outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples accessing health care. In a collaborative project with the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community, jurisdictions, health services and others, the Commission is working towards improving the safety of care provided to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in main stream health services. By determining the areas of greatest safety risk, the Commission and its partners can develop resources to support main stream health services to implement culturally appropriate safety systems and quality services.  Information gained from the project will also inform the revision of the NSQSH Standards scheduled to commence in 2015.

26 June 2014

Building upon a shared commitment to quality healthcare (Healthscope and Bupa)

Healthscope and Bupa have built upon their shared commitment to further improve quality in the private healthcare sector with the launch of the Pay for Quality initiative. Shifting focus from cost to value-for-money, Pay for Quality provides a funding platform whereby Bupa rewards Healthscope for providing better healthcare outcomes in clinical quality and safety.

17 June 2014

Leading intensive care specialist to play pivotal role in Australia’s health care safety and quality

The Commission has announced the appointment of Dr. Robert Herkes as its new Clinical Director. This important role provides expert clinical advice across all of the Commission’s nationally coordinated health care safety and quality priority programs.

28 May 2014

New report finds variation in common procedures across Australia

The management of common health conditions varies considerably depending upon where people live, according to a discussion paper released today by the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care (the Commission) and the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW). The paper, Exploring Healthcare Variation in Australia, examines variation in the rates of several common procedures, such as knee surgery and hysterectomy, undertaken in hospitals during 2010-11.

11 April 2014

General practice accreditation to benefit from collaborative approach

Joint communiqué from the Commission and the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners. The Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP) and the Commission have embarked on a project to develop a governance and reporting framework for general practice accreditation in Australia.

26 February 2014

Professor John Turnidge appointed to lead program for national surveillance of antimicrobial resistance and antibiotic usage

The Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care (the Commission), today announced the appointment of Professor John Turnidge as a Senior Medical Advisor to lead work on a national surveillance program for antimicrobial resistance (AMR) and antibiotic usage (AU). Under the 2013/14 Australian Federal Budget, the Commission has been funded to coordinate national action to prevent and contain antimicrobial resistance through enhanced surveillance systems.