South Metropolitan Health Service Excellence Awards

Logo reads South Metropolitan Health Service Excellence Awards 2019.

The South Metropolitan Health Service (SMHS) Excellence Awards celebrate and reward high achieving staff who exemplify the SMHS values of Care, Integrity, Respect, Excellence and Teamwork in their service each and every day. 

The awards align with our health service’s strategic priorities and recognise our commitment to excellent clinical care, great patient experiences, an engaged workforce, strong community partnerships and innovation.

2019 winners

The 2019 SMHS Excellence Awards were presented on Wednesday 10 April at the Swan Yacht Club in East Fremantle.

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Excellence in Clinical Care

This award recognises excellence in the delivery of safe, high quality clinical care by a team.

Multidisciplinary Diabetic Foot Ulcer Team, Fiona Stanley Hospital

This highly collaborative interdisciplinary team provides comprehensive care to patients with diabetes-related foot disease (DFD) across the emergency, inpatient and outpatient settings.

Team members include Endocrinologists, Vascular surgeons, Infectious Diseases specialists and senior podiatrists experienced in high risk diabetic foot complications. Management strategies developed have increased the percentage of healed ulcers and reduced wound healing times, major amputations and hospitalisations. Creation of an acute ‘drop-in’ service via the Podiatry clinic has facilitated rapid access to specialist care and an urgent admission pathway (avoiding the Emergency Department) for acute DFD management. Revised antibiotic management by the team has delivered a more appropriate antibiotic protocol while reducing the risk of antimicrobial resistance through use of narrower spectrum agents.

Congratulations also to our finalists:

  • Dialectic Behaviour Therapy Team, Mental Health Unit, Fremantle Hospital
  • Tracheostomy Service, Fiona Stanley Hospital.

View our Excellence in Clinical Care finalists 

Excellence in Improving the Patient Experience

This award recognises the achievement of a team in providing a great patient experience.

Rapid Access Neck Lump Clinic, Fiona Stanley Hospital

In a Western Australian first for head and neck cancer patients, this one-stop clinic has improved the time from referral to diagnosis to treatment. Within two weeks of referral, patients are seen for a few hours of multidisciplinary assessment and receive a same day diagnosis. Treatment plans follow within two weeks.

Patient and family experiences are central to the process – only attending hospital on one day leaves them free to spend more time at home. Additionally, the 20 per cent of non-metropolitan patients now have equal access to the same services and treatment as eligible city patients without the inconvenience of multiple appointments. Other benefits include better patient care coordination and maximising efficient and safe patient care.

Finalists for this award included:

  • Cognitive Impairment Project, Fiona Stanley Fremantle Hospitals Group
  • Mimidi Park Mental Health Inpatient Unit, Rockingham Peel Group.

See our Improving the Patient Experience finalists 

Excellence in Developing/Engaging our Staff/Team

This award recognises the engagement, development and provision of opportunities for staff/teams.

Survivor Education Program, Fiona Stanley Hospital

The Medical Imaging program adapted games to improve staff engagement, productivity and learning among more than 75 Medical Imaging Technologists and students.

Based on the Survivor television program, participants were assigned to ‘tribes’ based on their clinical responsibilities. Face-to-face clinical presentations and online learning ensured equity of training access. Attendance increased by 43 per cent and online participation increased more than 300 per cent.

Diverse clinical and operational material was presented in a fun, interactive manner using Survivor themes of tribe challenges, reward auctions, immunity idols, and hidden clues, concluding with a final challenge to determine the ‘sole survivor’. The program fostered more productive relationships between colleagues and across modalities.

Congratulations to our other 2019 finalists:

  • Emergency Department Simulation Team, Fiona Stanley Hospital
  • PACU Hand Hygiene Project, Fiona Stanley Hospital.

View our Excellence in Developing/Engaging our Staff/Team finalists

This award kindly sponsored by: 

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Excellence in Strengthening Partnerships

This award recognises the relationships a team has developed with our community and partners.

Emergency Department Consumer Advisory Group, Fiona Stanley Hospital

In an intense Emergency Department (ED) environment there are few opportunities to focus on the non-medical perspectives of the patient and visitor experience. Through this innovative alliance of consumers and senior ED clinical staff, consumer input is now acknowledged and valued in the department’s planning and decision-making processes.

Projects can be suggested by any group member but consumers have full ownership of their development and implementation. Achievements to date include a brochure outlining the expectations and responsibilities of next-of-kin of ED patients and creating a safer and calmer waiting room environment.

Through this group, the valuable perspective of consumers outside health care and their collective voice is now firmly embedded in the planning and designing of ED care.

Our other 2019 finalists were:

  • Fiona Wood Public Lecture Series, Corporate Communications, South Metropolitan Health Service
  • Peel and Rockingham Community Response, Community Mental Health, Rockingham Peel Group.

See the Excellence in Strengthening Partnership finalists

Excellence in Innovation

This award recognises the achievement of a productive and innovative team or project which is financially sustainable.

Rapid Access for Patient’s Imminent Delivery Project, Rockingham General Hospital

A Rockingham General Hospital (RGH) audit indicated 34 per cent of emergency caesarean sections were taking longer than the widely accepted time to deliver a baby once it was agreed intervention was required.

This project improved safety and quality outcomes through multiple channels, including implementing two new emergency response codes for emergency caesarean sections, creating a designated obstetric pre-theatre bay and associated equipment trolley and twice daily identification of a ‘flexible’ operating theatre. A solution session addressed issues identified by stakeholders and consumers to assist development of a new emergency caesarean section pathway.

The findings so far show significant improvement and efficiencies, with RGH meeting new 60 minute Category 1 and 75 minute Category 2 Decision to Delivery guidelines in line with best practice.

Congratulations to our other finalists for 2019:

  • Elective Surgery Waitlist Reduction Strategy, South Metropolitan Health Service
  • Falls in Emergency Department and Aged Care Evaluation, Fiona Stanley Hospital.

Learn about our Excellence in Innovation finalists

Southern Star Award

Awarded to the overall winner, selected from the team/project award winners.

Rapid Access Neck Lump Clinic, Fiona Stanley Hospital

In a Western Australian first for head and neck cancer patients, this one-stop clinic has improved the time from referral to diagnosis to treatment. Within two weeks of referral, patients are seen for a few hours of multidisciplinary assessment and receive a same day diagnosis. Treatment plans follow within two weeks.

Patient and family experiences are central to the process – only attending hospital on one day leaves them free to spend more time at home. Additionally, the 20 per cent of non-metropolitan patients now have equal access to the same services and treatment as eligible city patients without the inconvenience of multiple appointments. Other benefits include better patient care coordination and maximising efficient and safe patient care.

See our finalists for the Southern Star Award

This award kindly sponsored by:

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Volunteer of the Year

This award is for an exceptional volunteer who has demonstrated dedication and commitment to making a difference in the lives of patients, carers, visitors and staff within SMHS.

Elaine Ashurst, Fremantle Hospital

Motivated by her experiences as a former Alma Street inpatient, Elaine is an active member of the Mental Health Consumer Advisory Group and provides positive advocacy for Alma Street and mental health within the wider community.

For two years she has facilitated a ‘recovery group’ for weekend inpatients and
co-facilitates another yoga group mid-week on the secure ward. Elaine also participates in formalised ward visits to talk with and support consumers, giving them a voice by encouraging sharing of information about their experience and care.

Elaine’s work and relationship with Alma Street is personally meaningful and she brings this to every interaction with consumers and staff alike.

Congratulations to our other 2019 finalists:

  • Andrew Maddy, Fiona Stanley Hospital
  • Valerie McIntosh, Fiona Stanley Hospital.

See our Volunteer of the Year finalists

This award kindly sponsored by:

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Researcher of the Year

Presented to an employee who demonstrates exceptional commitment to research, with significant potential, or actual improved, outcomes for patients or the community.

Dr Dayse Távora-Vieira, Head of Audiology, Fiona Stanley Hospital

Dr Távora-Vieira is a patient-focused, clinically applied researcher whose work has resulted in internationally accepted practice changes in audiology benefiting patients worldwide. Her research output placed Fiona Stanley Hospital on the international stage in the field of hearing restoration, with the largest cohort of cochlear implant recipients with single sided deafness in the world, and resulted in Therapeutic Goods Administration approval for this clinical application.

Dr Távora-Vieira’s belief in equity of health services access and commitment to evidence-based practice is exemplified by the introduction of an advanced scope audiology clinic to reduce the ENT outpatient waitlist and a telemapping service to remediate hearing impairment in remote patients.

Our other 2019 finalists were:

  • Professor Dickon Hayne, Head of Urology - South Metropolitan Health Service
  • Dr Helen Keen, Head of Rheumatology - Fiona Stanley Hospital.

Learn about our Researcher of the Year finalists

This award kindly sponsored by:

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Chief Executive's Commitment to Excellence

This award recognises an employee who goes above and beyond their normal duties to embody the organisation’s values and proactively works to improve outcomes. This category is open to all staff working in SMHS.

Joanne Hughes, Nurse Unit Manager, Aged Care Rehabilitation Unit, Rockingham General Hospital

Joanne’s passion for aged care shines through her commitment to best practice care for consumers and family members and her sharing of expert knowledge with colleagues.

Within a short time frame Joanne has delivered numerous quality improvement initiatives, including the innovative #ditchthepyjamas campaign and reducing patient falls in the unit. Her strong interest in cognitive impairment was instrumental in developing a cognitive care chart used by non-verbal patients to assess their pain and distress level.

Staff regularly praise Joanne’s dynamic, collaborative and fair leadership style, stating she is objective and open to all who have the privilege to meet and work with her.

We congratulate our other 2019 finalists:

  • Taryn Fyfe, Chief Pharmacist, Fremantle Hospital
  • Michael McDonnell, Supervising Medical Imaging Technologist, Fiona Stanley Hospital

View the Chief Executive’s Commitment to Excellence finalists 

This award kindly sponsored by:

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South Metropolitan Health Service Board Award

This award is presented to an employee who over their career has demonstrated exceptional commitment to ensuring Western Australian’s receive safe, high quality and accessible health services, no matter where they live.

Sharon Rowe

Sharon Rowe is a Clinical Nurse Consultant with the State Adult Burns Service at Fiona Stanley Hospital. She has more than 30 years’ experience working in burns and is well known for her willingness to share her expertise and experience, not only within SMHS with but WA’s rural and remote clinicians and communities.

To say Sharon goes above and beyond in her role, understates her commitment and dedication to her patients and her advocacy on their behalf. Sharon helps connect past patients with new patients with similar burn injuries in an effort to bring them informal peer support that no clinician can provide.

She is known for her exceptional attention to detail and is a centre-point for people to call on whether it be advice with a wound dressing, case managing a complex patient remotely, or consoling a distressed family member over the phone. Amongst her many responsibilities, Sharon takes the time to educate, build relationships, and above all, always puts the patient first.

Learn more about award recipient Sharon Rowe

This award kindly sponsored by:

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Our thanks again to our generous sponsors

The logos of all sponsors of the 2019 South Metropolitan Health Service Excellence Awards.