Measures of Hospital Performance
At Ashford Hospital, we take quality and safety seriously.
To provide you with information about our performance, Ashford Hospital publishes data which reflects the quality and safety of our care. This is only one part of our program to continually maintain and improve our high standards.
At Ashford Hospital, quality is not just one simple measure. It includes many aspects of care and of a patient's experience.
Please click on the menu below to view data for each of the indicators we publish.
AtAshford Hospital, we are committed to providingpatients with the best possible experience during their hospital stay. Patientexperience often reflects the personal side of care. To evaluate how well wemeet patient needs, we invite our patients to complete a survey afterdischarge. We have based our survey on the new Australian Hospital PatientExperience Question Set (AHPEQS) developed by the Australian Commissionon Safety and Quality in Health Care (Commission) for use in both publicand private health services.
Ashford Hospital commenced surveying usingthis tool as soon as it was made available by the Commission in January 2018. Priorto this we used the US-based Hospital Consumer Assessment of HealthcareProviders System (HCAHPS) survey.
Completion of our survey is voluntary andanonymous. Most patients fill in their surveys online. We conduct surveyscontinuously throughout the year, which provides us with feedback that is moreaccurate than periodic surveys. Sample size has been building as wefocus on electronic rather than paper survey formats.
Our senior hospital staff have access to AshfordHospital’s survey results via an electronic Patient Experience Portal. This allowsthem to review feedback immediately and identify any opportunities forimprovement. Maintaining anonymity, both positive and negative patient commentsare shared with relevant staff. This is part of our commitment to provide thebest possible experience for our patients.
Ashford Hospital’s survey results are alsocontinuously monitored by the Quality Department and reports are presented tosenior management and the Board.
One of our key questions about patient experience is the overall quality oftreatment and care, which can be rated on a scale of 1 to 5, from ‘very good’ to ‘very poor’. The graph below shows the percentage of patients whohave rated the quality of their treatment and care overall as ‘very good’ or ‘good’ (top two boxes) over a period of 12 months.
This graph shows that patients’ rating of treatment and care at Ashford Hospital has been improving, especially the percentage of ‘very good’ ratings. [Data correct as at 16 July 2018.]
What are we doing to enhance patient experience?
Ashford Hospital employs a variety of strategies to enhance patient experience. These include:
- Ongoing staff education and provision of resources to ensure that care is person-focused and of the highest standard
- Hospital management constantly monitoring the rating of overall treatment and care and taking action to address any areas of concern
- Consulting with the Clinical Risk / Quality Manager to assist us in implementing strategies to enhance patient experience
- Engaging Consumer Consultants who provide feedback from a patient’s or carer’s perspective
- Involving patients in their care, for example by shift handover occurring at the bedside
- Follow-up phone calls to patients after discharge from hospital to ensure they are recovering well
- Keeping relatives informed of the current location of their loved one in hospital via the ‘Patient Finder’ app
- ‘Patient Journeys’ – volunteer patients diarising detailed feedback on every part of their hospital experience from pre-admission to post-discharge follow-up
- Focused initiatives to address areas of concern, such as keeping our menu contemporary to suit patient needs, or measuring of noise levels within different hospital areas
Ashford Hospital is fully accredited against The National Safety and Quality Health Service Standards, a mandatory set of standards established by the Australian Government for all public and private hospitals.
Accreditation involves a visit to the hospital from an independent team of expert health professionals who review the safety and quality of services provided. Our achievements are measured against industry standards by this review team. Hospitals are measured against ten overarching standards and many different criteria including patient care, medication management, clinical handover, infection control, complaints management and preventing falls.
Hospitals receive a rating for each one of these criteria – either satisfactorily met or not met. If a criterion is not met, the hospital is given an action that it must follow-up within three months to ensure the criterion is satisfactorily met.
Ashford Hospital received a full three-year accreditation following organisation-wide survey against the National Safety and Quality Health Service Standards in September 2016, gaining satisfactory met ratings in all the Standard’s Actions, including those that are still in the developmental stage.
The accreditation survey was carried out by the Australian Council on Healthcare Standards (ACHS). The surveyors were impressed with Ashford Hospital’s staff focus on patients, clients and carers. Staff demonstrated their commitment to the provision of quality care and cohesive team work in all aspects of clinical care reviewed. The hospital is well maintained and welcoming for patients and visitors.
Ashford Hospital’s commitment to quality improvement is ongoing, and current projects include:
- Implementation of a consumer engagement and participation framework
- Continued focus on consolidating strategies for Patient Centred Care
- Focus on improving discharge planning processes
- Improvement to medication safety practices
- Improving systems to assess, manage and care for patients with cognitive impairment, delirium or dementia
In addition to accreditation, Ashford Hospital is proud of the recognitions of excellence bestowed on its hospitals and staff.
Examples of recent awards are:
2017 Healthscope STAR Award Responsibility (Individual)
Kirsty Grant, Nurse Unit Manager, Ashford Hospital
2016 National BUPA Patient Choice Award Runner Up
Faye Bayot, Cardiac Surgical Unit, Ashford Hospital
2011 Healthscope Service Excellence Award
Roselyn Brown, Staff Development Coordinator, Ashford Hospital
Ashford Hospital follows strict infection control procedures, and staff take every precaution to prevent infections. Specialised infection control staff collect and analyse data on infections in order to identify and implement best practices to reduce infection rates.
Patients with weakened immune systems, with wounds and with invasive devices such as drips are at greater risk of infection than the general public.
There are several types of infections that we closely monitor at Ashford Hospital. Two of the most important are:
- Staphylococcus aureus Bacteraemia – also known as SAB. This is a serious infection caused by bacteria entering the blood stream.
- Clostridium difficile - also known as C Diff. This is an infection of the bowel that causes diarrhoea.
The graph below shows the number of Staphylococcus aureus infections at Ashford Hospital. The coloured bars represent Ashford Hospital's rate. This is compared to the Australian Government target, shown in the grey bar. The national benchmark for SAB is no more than 2 cases per 10,000 days of patient care.
This graph shows that the rate of SAB infections at Ashford Hospital is very low and lies well below the Australian government target.
The graph below shows the number of Clostridium difficile infections. The coloured bars represent Ashford Hospital's rate. This is compared to the rate in other Australian hospitals, shown in the grey bars. The industry rate varies from 2 to 3 cases per 10,000 days of patient care.
This graph shows that the number of Clostridium difficile infections at Ashford Hospital lies below the industry rate.
What are we doing to prevent infections?
Ashford Hospital employs a variety of strategies to prevent infections. These include:
- Auditing how often staff wash their hands using soap and water or hand sanitiser
- Using gloves and specialised sterile equipment
- Assigning a dedicated Infection Control Nurse responsible for educating staff and implementing infection control strategies
- Using specialised disinfectants when cleaning facilities
- Following national guidelines for high level disinfection and sterilisation processes
- Placing hand sanitiser dispensers in public areas throughout the hospital so that they are readily accessible to staff, patients and visitors
What can you do to help?
At Ashford Hospital, patients and visitors are part of the healthcare team. There are a number of things you can do to reduce the risk of infection for yourself and others:
- Wash your hands carefully with soap and water or use hand sanitiser upon entering the hospital
- Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Clean your hands afterwards – every time
- If you don't have a tissue available, cough or sneeze into your elbow, not your hand
- As a patient, report any infection you have had, especially if you are still on antibiotics
- Make sure you take the full course of antibiotics you have been given, even if you are feeling better
- If you have a dressing for a wound, keep the skin around the dressing clean and dry. Let the healthcare worker looking after you know promptly if it becomes loose or wet
- Tell your healthcare worker if the area around any drips, tubes or drains inserted into your body becomes red, swollen or painful
- Let the healthcare worker looking after you know if your room or equipment hasn't been cleaned properly
- Stop smoking before any surgery, as smoking increases the risk of infection
- Don't visit if you have an illness such as a cough, cold or gastroenteritis ('gastro')
- Wash your hands carefully with soap and water or use hand sanitiser when entering and leaving a patient’s room
All Ashford Hospital staff are required to frequently wash their hands with soap and water or with waterless hand sanitiser. Both are equally effective. We follow the World Health Organisation's guidelines for hand hygiene, which specify the following times when health care staff must wash their hands:
- Before touching a patient
- After touching a patient
- Before a procedure
- After a procedure
- After touching a patient’s belongings or surroundings
At Ashford Hospital, we use auditors who are accredited by Hand Hygiene Australia to record whether or not hand hygiene has been performed correctly. The graph below shows the levels of hand hygiene compliance. The coloured bars represent Ashford Hospital's rate. This is compared to the Australian national benchmark of 80%, shown in the grey bar.
This graph shows that hand hygiene compliance at Ashford Hospital is very high and well above the national benchmark.
When audits are performed, each professional group is checked – including doctors, nurses, cleaners and other hospital staff.
The first graph below on the left shows which groups were audited. The graph on the right shows the hand hygiene compliance rate for different staff within the hospital. It shows that the compliance rate for all staff groups is very high.
What are we doing to improve hand hygiene?
Ashford Hospital employs a variety of strategies to improve hand hygiene compliance. These include:
- Ongoing education programs for staff about infections and hand hygiene
- A designated Infection Control Nurse responsible for educating staff and implementing infection control strategies
- Placement of hand sanitiser dispensers in convenient areas throughout the hospital, including hallways and patient rooms
- Use of specially designed washbasins where water can be turned on and off without touching the tap
What can you do to help?
At Ashford Hospital, patients and visitors are part of the health care team. Good hand hygiene is the most important way in which patients and visitors can prevent the spread of infection in hospital.
There are a number of things you can do:
- Wash your hands carefully with soap and water or use hand sanitiser upon entering and leaving the hospital
- Wash your hands carefully with soap and water or use hand sanitiser when entering and leaving a patient’s room
- Observe hospital signage about hand hygiene
- If you are unable to find a hand sanitiser station, please ask staff for assistance
Falls are a leading cause of hospital-acquiredinjury and frequently prolong or complicate hospital stays. Patients mayexperience a fall because theyare weakened by a medical condition or after an accident or injury.
The graph below shows the percentage of patientswho have had a fall. The coloured bars represent Ashford Hospital's rate. Thisis compared to the rate of falls at otherAustralian hospitals, shown in thegrey bar.
This graph showsthat patients at Ashford Hospital have a lower rate of falls than patients in other Australian hospitals.
What are we doing to reduce the risk of patientfalls?
Ashford Hospital employs a variety of strategies toreduce the risk of patient falls. These include:
- Risk assessmentsto identify patients at risk of falling
- Ongoing staffeducation on falls prevention
- Patienteducation on prevention of falls in hospital and at home
- Use of safetyequipment such as lifting hoists, walking aids and chair or bed sensors thatalert staff when a patient at risk of falling gets up unassisted
- Review of eachfall to assess if there were any preventable factors
Pressure injuries - commonly known as bed sores - are areas of skin damage caused by prolonged pressure. They can range in severity from an area of reddened skin to ulcers with underlying tissue damage.
Pressure injuries can sometimes occur when a patient remains in one position for a long period. Certain people are at increased risk of developing pressure injuries, such as the elderly, people who are bedbound or have poor mobility and people with chronic conditions like diabetes.
This graph below shows the number of patients who have developed a pressure injury during their admission to hospital. The coloured bars represent Ashford Hospital's rate. This is compared to the rate of pressure injuries in other Australian hospitals, shown in the grey bar.
This graph shows that patients at Ashford Hospital are less likely to develop a pressure injury than patients in other Australian hospitals.
What are we doing to minimise the risk of pressure injuries?
Ashford Hospital employs a variety of strategies to minimise the risk of patients developing pressure injuries. These include:
- Risk assessments to identify patients who are susceptible to pressure injuries
- Ongoing education for nursing staff in pressure injury identification, prevention and management
- Patient education on prevention of pressure injuries in hospital and at home
- Use of pressure-relieving devices such as special mattresses, cushions, wedges, sheepskins, water-filled supports, contoured or textured foam supports, heel elevators and supports filled with gel or beads
- Regularly changing patients' position and encouraging walking or movement if possible
- Referral to a wound management consultant if a pressure injury is identified
- Review of each pressure injury acquired in hospital to assess if there were any preventable factors
A blood transfusion is a procedure where you receive blood through an intravenous cannula (IV) inserted into a vein. You may need a blood transfusion if your body cannot make parts of your own blood, if your blood cells are not working properly, or if you have lost blood.
Blood contains red cells which are essential for carrying oxygen around the body. A blood transfusion may be given because of a shortage of red blood cells in the blood (anaemia), either because the body is not making enough of them, or because of blood loss. Sometimes the bone marrow, which produces blood cells, doesn’t work properly. The bone marrow can be affected by chemotherapy or diseases. In some cases anaemia can be treated with medicines but in other cases, a blood transfusion may be the best treatment.
Most people can cope with losing a moderate amount of blood without needing a blood transfusion, as this loss can be replaced with other fluids. However, if larger amounts of blood are lost, a blood transfusion could be the best way of replacing blood rapidly. A blood transfusion may be needed to treat severe bleeding, for example during or after an operation, childbirth or after a serious accident. There are are many useful resources for patients about blood transfusion available.
Transfusion does not just refer to blood – often other blood products are used. These include:
- Fresh blood components, such as red blood cells, platelets, fresh frozen plasma or cryoprecipitate
- Plasma-derivatives such as albumin, immunoglobulins and clotting factors
A blood transfusion can be lifesaving or significantly improve quality of life. Australia has one of the safest blood supplies in the world. However, as with all medical procedures, a blood transfusion is not completely free from risk. It is very important that all patients receive blood and blood product transfusions appropriately and safely. Blood transfusions are given to patients only where the doctor has assessed it as absolutely necessary.
Patients must give consent for a blood transfusion. Consent should be documented on a consent form or by documenting the discussed information in your medical record.
It is very important that transfusions are carried out by trained professional staff, using the techniques outlined in the National Safety and Quality Health Service Standards. This is double checked and audited on a regular basis in our hospital.
One way that we monitor the success of blood transfusions is by keeping track of any adverse reactions – both major and minor. Adverse reactions are rare, but can include:
- Incorrect blood / blood component transfused
- Transmission of infection, for example bacteria or viruses
- Transfusion related immune reaction
- Transfusion related acute lung injury
At Ashford Hospital we document and investigate every case and take action to reduce the number of adverse transfusion events that occur. Ashford Hospital has many strategies in place to prevent adverse transfusion events from occurring.
This graph shows the number of patients at Ashford Hospital that had a transfusion with NO significant adverse event. The rate is shown in the coloured bars. This is compared to the rate of transfusion events in other Australian hospitals (the grey bar). The graph shows that patients at Ashford Hospital are less likely to have an adverse transfusion event, compared with other Australian hospitals.
What we are doing to reduce the risk of adverse transfusion events:
The following strategies are used:
- Policies and procedures, consistent with national evidence based guidelines for pre-transfusion practices, prescribing and administration of blood
- Avoiding unnecessary blood transfusions by use of alternative medications, treatments and non-blood treatments
- Identifying any risk factors for adverse reactions, before the transfusion commences
- Careful cross-matching of blood groups to make sure no errors occur
- Education and competency training for nursing staff in blood transfusion administration
- Patient education and provision of written materials explaining blood transfusions
- Individual reporting: Examining each adverse transfusion event to determine why it occurred and how to prevent this happening again
- Careful monitoring of patients and taking close observations during administration of a blood transfusion
- Working closely with the pathology laboratory that provides the blood
- Monitoring and auditing compliance to transfusion policies and procedures
- There is a robust system for reporting and feedback for adverse events, incidents and near misses relating to transfusion practice
- Transfusions are not conducted at every hospital. If a hospital does not have sufficient experience in conducting a transfusion, the patient is moved to another hospital for this procedure
- ACHA participates on the Healthscope National Transfusion Governance Committee that oversees best practice standards for transfusion management in all hospitals – and also reviews adverse events nationally so that all hospital can learn from them
When a patient visits the Emergency Department at Ashford Hospital, the triage nurse carries out an assessment of how urgent the patient’s condition is. Each patient is assigned a triage category from 1 through to 5 on the Australasian Triage Scale. According to the best practice guidelines, patients must be seen for medical assessment and treatment within the following times:
- Category 1 patients must be attended to immediately (eg, cardiac arrest)
- Category 2 patients attended to within 10 minutes (eg, severe blood loss)
- Category 3 patients attended to within 30 minutes (eg, head injury but conscious)
- Category 4 patients attended to within 60 minutes (eg, sprained ankle, possible fracture)
- Category 5 patients attended to within 120 minutes (eg, cut not requiring stitches)
Patients that are category 1, 2 or 3 will be seen before category 4 and 5, even if they arrive in the department at a later time. If you visit an Emergency Department you can ask the triage nurse what category you have been assigned and this may give you an idea of how long you may be expected to wait.
All hospitals with Emergency Departments measure how quickly patients are seen in the Emergency Department. The graphs below show the percentage of patients in each Category that are seen within the recommended time at Ashford Hospital. On average, patients visiting the Emergency Department at Ashford Hospital are seen more quickly than in other Australian hospitals.
To see the emergency waiting times for Ashford Hospital, see below.
Emergency Department Waiting Times - Triage Catagory 1: Patients Seen Immediately
Emergency Department Waiting Times - Triage Category 2: Patients Seen Within 10 Minutes
Emergency Department Waiting Times - Triage Category 3: Patients Seen Within 30 Minutes
Emergency Department Waiting Times - Triage Category 4: Patients Seen Within 1 Hour
Emergency Department Waiting Times - Triage Category 5: Patients Seen Within 2 Hours
Many patients who come to Ashford Hospital have an operation in our theatres. Most operations require some kind of anaesthetic, administered by an Anaesthetist. After waking up from an anaesthetic, patients require close monitoring to make sure that their pain and conscious state, and observations such as blood pressure are all back to normal. This typically happens in the Recovery Unit. After a large operation, such as a heart bypass operation, an admission to the Intensive Care Unit may be planned, to allow close monitoring by specialised equipment. On rare occasions, other patients may have an unexpected reaction to an anaesthetic, and may require an unplanned admission to the Intensive Care Unit for monitoring.
Tracking the number of patients who have an admission to Internsive Care after an operation is one way that we can judge the quality of hospital care. Good nursing care can help reduce the rate of unplanned admission to Intensive Care and good monitoring can pick up any problems early.
This graph shows the percentage of patients admitted to Ashford Hospital that have required an unplanned admission to the Intensive Care Unit within 24 hours of their operation. The rate is shown in the green bars. This is compared to the rate of “unplanned admission to Intensive Care” in other Australian hospitals (the grey bar).
This graph shows that patients admitted to Ashford Hospital are slightly more likely to have an unplanned admission to Intensive Care compared with other Australian hospitals.
What we are doing to further reduce unplanned admission to Intensive Care:
Improvement strategies may vary from hospital to hospital, examples are:
- We review each admission to Intensive Care to check if there were any preventable factors
- Before operations, the nurses, doctors and anaesthetists carefully check each patient’s risks for anaesthetic
- The Theatre and Recovery Units use a consistent process for discharging patients either to the ward or to home, to make sure they have fully recovered from the anaesthetic
- If a patient has additional risk factors, sometimes an Intensive Care bed is planned and booked in advance, to make sure the post-operation monitoring is the best possible
- We monitor this data to make sure that the rate of unplanned admission to Intensive Care is not increasing
- We ring our patients prior to admission and ask them a series of questions to see if they may require additional clinical support whilst in hospital
For many operations and procedures (such as arthroscopy, colonoscopy) that are performed at Ashford Hospital, an overnight stay is not required. Patients are admitted a few hours before their operation or procedure, and go home on the same day, after they have recovered from their anaesthetic. After waking up from an anaesthetic, patients require close monitoring to make sure that their pain and conscious state, and observations such as blood pressure are all back to normal. This typically happens in the Recovery Unit. On rare occasions, patients may have an unexpected reaction to an anaesthetic or procedure, and may require an unplanned overnight stay in hospital, or transfer to another hospital.
Tracking the number of day patients who have an unplanned overnight stay after an operation is one way that we can judge the quality of hospital care. Good planning and medical care can help reduce the rate of unplanned overnight admissions.
This graph shows the percentage of day patients admitted to Ashford Hospital that have required an unplanned overnight stay or transfer to another hospital. The rate is shown in the blue bars. This is compared to the rate of “unplanned overnight stay for a day patient” in other Australian hospitals (the grey bar).
This graph shows that patients admitted to Ashford Hospital are less likely to have an unplanned overnight stay for a day patient compared with other Australian hospitals.
What we are doing to further reduce unplanned overnight admission:
- We review each unplanned transfer or overnight admission to check if there were any preventable factors
- Before operations, the nurses, doctors and anaesthetists carefully check each patient’s risks for the operation and recovery
- Pre-admission clinics are used to make sure the patient and staff are as prepared as possible for the operation or procedure
- The preadmission screening assessment identifies patients with risk factors which identify those most likely to need overnight stay, where the reason is unrelated to the procedure
- The Theatre and Recovery Units use a consistent process for discharging patients home, to make sure they have fully recovered from the operation
- If a patient has additional risk factors or requires more intensive monitoring, sometimes an overnight ward bed is planned and booked in advance, to make sure the post-operation monitoring is the best possible
- We monitor this data to make sure that the rate of unplanned transfer and admission to hospital is not increasing
After a successful hospital stay, the most important task for patients, families and staff is preparing for a successful discharge home. It is disappointing for everyone if a patient requires an unexpected readmission into hospital.
Tracking the number of patients who experience unplanned readmissions to Ashford Hospital after a previous hospital stay is one way that we can judge the quality of hospital care. One example of an unplanned readmission would be someone who is readmitted to the hospital for a surgical wound infection that occurred after his or her initial hospital stay.
It is important to note that unplanned hospital readmissions may or may not be related to the previous visit, and some unplanned readmissions are not preventable. Good discharge plans can help reduce the rate of unplanned readmissions by giving patients the care instructions they need after a hospital stay and by helping patients recognise symptoms that may require immediate medical attention.
The graph shows that patients admitted to Ashford Hospital are less likely to have an unplanned readmission compared with other Australian hospitals.
There is a limitation to this data. Currently no unique patient identifier exists that would allow us to measure unplanned readmissions to a different hospital. Therefore the unplanned readmission rates presented in this graph represent patients readmitted to the same hospital only.
What we are doing to further reduce unplanned readmission rates:
- We review each case of readmission to check if there were any preventable factors
- Check each patient’s risk for re-admission
- Use a consistent process for discharging patients that includes making sure patients understand their medications and other instructions
- Arranging prompt follow up care and ongoing appointments, eg, with Physiotherapist and General Practitioner
- We monitor this data to make sure that the rate of unplanned re-admission is not increasing
Ashford Hospital has an operating theatre suite and carries out many sessions of surgery every year. One of the ways of monitoring the success of surgery is to check whether any patients require an unexpected second operation – we call this “return to theatre”. There are many reasons why a patient may need a further operation – however where possible we aim to minimise this number.
This graph shows the percentage of patients having an operation or procedure at Ashford Hospital that have required a return to theatre during the same admission. The rate is shown in the blue bars. This is compared to the rate of “return to theatre” in other Australian hospitals (the grey bar).
The graph shows that patients undergoing surgery at Ashford Hospital are less likely to have an unexpected return to theatre compared with other Australian hospitals.
What we are doing to reduce unplanned returns to theatre:
- Careful monitoring of patients in recovery
- Ensuring patient’s level of pain is carefully assessed
- Reviewing every case when a patient requires a return to theatre, to work out the reasons why and how to prevent it in future
- Conducting thorough pre-operative evaluation including coagulation studies and anti-coagulant therapy management where indicated
- Pre-admission assessment of high risk patients to make sure all required tests and precautions are taken
Childbirth is a natural, normal event, and although you may choose to have your baby in hospital, it doesn’t mean that medical intervention will be required. Most babies are born without any difficulties and with the encouragement and support from Ashford Hospital staff. However, sometimes intervention by the Obstetrician, Paediatrician or Midwife may be required in order for a safe outcome for your baby.
After a baby is born, the hospital staff will do a thorough check of all aspects of the baby’s health, measuring their Apgar Score to check the baby’s breathing, heart rate, colour, activity and temperature. Some babies may require closer monitoring, help with breathing, body temperature, or further investigations. This sometimes happens in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. “Neonatal” means “around the time of birth”. This is a specialised unit with staff that are experts in dealing with newborn babies. In some cases, if an unborn baby has a specific medical condition, an admission to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit may be planned even before delivery of the baby. On rare occasions, babies may be born with an unexpected medical condition, and may require an unplanned admission to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit for treatment.
Tracking the number of patients who have an unplanned admission to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit after birth is one way that we can judge the quality of hospital care. Good medical and nursing care during delivery and during the months of pregnancy can help reduce the rate of unplanned admissions to Neonatal Intensive Care. Good monitoring during labour can pick up any problems early.
This graph shows the percentage of babies born in Ashford Hospital that have required an unplanned admission to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. The data also includes unplanned admissions to the “Special Care Nursery”, which provides a lower level of care for babies that do not require intensive care. A number of admissions to the Special Care Nursery are precautionary. The rate is shown in the pink bars. This is compared to the rate of “unplanned admission to Intensive Care” in other Australian hospitals (the grey bar).
This graph shows that babies born at Ashford Hospital are less likely to have an unplanned admission to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit compared with other Australian hospitals.
What we are doing to further reduce unplanned admission to Neonatal Intensive Care:
- We review each admission to Neonatal Intensive Care to check if there were any preventable factors
- Before a baby is born, and during the pregnancy, the midwives and obstetricians carefully assess and monitor the mother and baby for any risk factors, such as gestational (pregnancy) diabetes
- The Theatre and Recovery Units use a consistent process for discharging mothers and babies from the delivery suite to the ward, to make sure they have fully recovered from the birth
- If a mother or baby has additional risk factors, sometimes a Neonatal Intensive Care bed is planned and booked in advance, to make sure the post-natal monitoring is the best possible
- We monitor this data to make sure that the rate of unplanned admission to Neonatal Intensive Care is not increasing
Following the birth of a baby, the Doctor / Midwife assesses the baby's overall condition, including breathing, heart rate, colour, activity and temperature. A score known as the “Apgar score” is used to measure this, one minute and five minutes after birth. The highest Apgar score is 10. The five minute Apgar score is regarded as more important than the 1 minute score because it is believed to be more reflective of the baby's overall health.
At Ashford Hospital we measure the Apgar score for every baby born. This graph shows the percentage of babies born at Ashford Hospital that have a healthy Apgar score five minutes after birth. The rate is shown in the yellow bars. This is compared to the rate in other Australian hospitals (the grey bar). A healthy Apgar score is defined as a score of 7 or above.
The graph shows that the percentage of babies born at Ashford Hospital with a healthy Apgar score is higher than other Australian hospitals.
The birth of a baby is a very exciting time and we would like you to have the best possible experience. If you have an uncomplicated pregnancy, you will be admitted to hospital just before you give birth. The number of days you will spend in hospital after having your baby will depend on whether you have a vaginal delivery or a Caesarean section. Most patients stay a little longer in hospital after a Caesarean section.
It can be reassuring to know how long you will spend in hospital after your baby is born. The graph above shows the average length of stay at Ashford Hospital for childbirth. The length of stay in other Australian public and private hospitals is also shown. Many patients choose to stay in hospital for as long as possible after the birth, particularly for a first baby, however, it is important to note that you are free to go home earlier if you choose to do so. Women having a baby at Ashford Hospital and other Australian private hospitals stay longer in hospital than patients in Australian public hospitals.
Many organisations today are measuring quality in health care using varying criteria. Evaluating this information can be difficult and time-consuming since not all measures reflect the same information from one report to another. However, it is important for patients to ask questions and look at quality information to ensure they are getting the efficient and effective care they need.
Ashford Hospital is a member of the Adelaide Community Healthcare Alliance Incorporated (ACHA). ACHA and its contracted manager Healthscope, supports transparent public reporting of healthcare quality data and actively participates in initiatives of the following organisations.
Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Healthcare (ACSQHC) – The Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Healthcare (the Commission) was established in 2006 by the Australian, State and Territory Governments to lead and coordinate national improvement in safety and quality. Healthscope (ACHA’s contracted manager) - has representation on the Private Hospital Sector Advisory Committee and several key working groups.
Australian Institute of Health and Welfare - The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) is a major national agency set up by the Australian Government under the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare Act to provide reliable, regular and relevant information and statistics on Australia's health and welfare.
MyHospitals Website – This website lists all public and private hospitals in Australia, along with information about waiting times for elective surgery and emergency department access. Healthscope (ACHA’s contracted manager) - has representation on the MyHospitals Development Advisory Committee.