Southern DHB has made “significant improvements” and “the positive results of culture change are evident across services.” Those are just some of the comments made by auditors conducting the HealthCERT Surveillance Audit, carried out across Southern DHB sites last week.

A team of nine auditors visited Dunedin, Wakari and Southland hospitals, and checked in with Lakes District Hospital, during the September 4 – 8 visit, verifying that improvements prescribed in a 2015 certification audit were being implemented. 

The surveillance audit is part of a Ministry of Heath certification programme, which ensures healthcare providers in New Zealand meet Health and Disability Services Standards.

The certification audit is conducted every three years and the surveillance audit takes place halfway through a certification period to verify progress and, where appropriate, make further recommendations.

The auditors reviewed patient files, interviewed staff and patients, observed clinical areas and tracked patient journeys through the health service.

“In its final feedback, the auditing team commented on the huge gains, very positive cultural change and significant amount of improvement work underway within the organisation,” says Mike Collins, Executive Director, People, Culture and Technology, Southern DHB.

“I want to say a big thanks to all our staff for their hard work and for helping to showcase our wonderful patient services and impressive programmes of improvement during the audit visit. We should pause and enjoy the very positive feedback we have received.”

The final surveillance audit report is expected by the end of October. The next certification audit is planned for the end of 2018.