Care first: Quality Account 2019/20

Mercy Health takes great pleasure in presenting Care first: Quality Account 2019/20. This report highlights the work done this year to improve our safe, high-quality and inclusive care.

Today, more than ever, providing the best care possible has never been more essential. Our community is growing in size and diversity, and so too do our health and social challenges. It is important that we work with our community to ensure every person Mercy Health supports — from patients, residents and clients to their families and carers, and our staff — feels well cared for, safe and respected.

“When I think we are done we seem to be beginning again.” Catherine McAuley, Founder of the Sisters of Mercy.

(L-R) Chief Executive – Health Services Jason Payne, Group Chief Executive Officer Adjunct Professor Stephen Cornelissen, Executive Director Quality, Safety & Innovation Clare Grieveson


Who we are

Mercy Health welcomes patients, clients and family members from a wide variety of countries, cultures and backgrounds.

The people who access our services come from 188 countries, speak 165 languages and follow 88 religious faiths. Our staff are also diverse, hailing from 131 countries and speaking 73 languages.

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Your experience matters

Mercy Health participates in surveys to gain a better understanding of the patient experience and identify opportunities for improvement.

These surveys provide valuable data and feedback and are an important way to measure the quality of care we provide.

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Choosing Wisely at Mercy Health

Choosing Wisely is a global initiative that seeks to improve the safety and quality of healthcare for patients.

Mercy Health is participating in the Choosing Wisely initiative, along with a number of other health services. As a Choosing Wisely Champion Health Service, Mercy Health is also a member of NPS MedicineWise.

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Accessibility Action Plan

Mercy Health was proud to officially launch its inaugural Accessibility Action Plan 2019-22 on International Day of People with Disability in December 2019. Mercy Health is committed to continually improving our services and facilities so that we can deliver accessible and inclusive healthcare to all of our patients, clients, families, carers and staff.

Accessibility Action Plan
Mercy Care Centre Young nurses (L-R) Shuveksha and Garry


All Australian health services are surveyed under the National Safety and Quality Health Service Standards. The eight standards measure quality of care in key safety areas for patients.


Feedback and complaints

It is important for Mercy Health to understand how you think and feel about our services.

We encourage sharing experiences, feedback and suggestions to help us continue to respond appropriately and improve the safety and quality of the care we provide.

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If you are worried

Mercy Health's escalation-of-care process - ‘REACH out to us’ – is designed to enable patients, families and carers to raise concerns if they notice deterioration in their condition or that of their loved ones.

REACH stands for Recognise, Engage, Act, Call and Help is on its way.

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Controlling infections

A bloodstream infection is one of the most serious complications a patient can experience during their stay in hospital.

Mercy Health hospitals monitor our bloodstream infection rates closely to make sure we are doing everything we can to keep our patients – including the youngest ones – safe and well.

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If things go wrong

Mercy Health is committed to providing the best care possible, but hospitals are complex environments and sometimes incidents occur that result in harm to a patient.

We have a process in place to ensure staff respond appropriately when an incident occurs and all incidents undergo a review.

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Consumer Advisors

Mercy Health partners with consumer advisors to produce the report Care first: Quality Account 2019/20. Mercy Health has a number of Community Advisory Groups (CAGs) in place across our Health Services sites.

These groups provide local advice from a consumer, carer and community perspective, to help our health services better understand and respond to the needs of the communities we serve.

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Protecting against the flu

High immunisation rates for healthcare workers are essential to reduce transmission of influenza in healthcare settings.

The Victorian Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) determines the healthcare worker (HCW) influenza vaccination target each year for all hospitals. The 2020 compliance rate was set at 90 per cent.

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95% Influenza vaccination

In 2020, Mercy Hospitals Victoria Ltd and Mercy Health hospitals in New South Wales exceeded the 90 per cent target set by DHHS with an overall influenza vaccination compliance rate of 95 per cent and 94 per cent respectively.

Mental Health

Mercy Mental Health (MMH) supports people with severe and complex mental illness.

We are committed to providing safe and respectful care.

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Mercy Hospitals Victoria Ltd participated in the Safer Baby Collaborative coordinated by Safer Care Victoria. The collaborative aimed to reduce avoidable stillbirth by 30 per cent by providing women with information about risk factors such as reduced baby movements, smoking and maternal sleep positions.

Providing the best care possible to mothers and babies

Having a baby is a life-changing event.

Parents look forward to welcoming their new baby, but pregnancy and birth do not always go according to plan. Mercy Health is constantly looking for ways to reduce the risks, so that more parents can take home a healthy child.

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People Matter Survey

Mercy Health seeks to empower and support the many people who choose to work in our health services.

We want our staff to feel safe, supported and satisfied with the incredible work they do, so that they remain engaged and committed to their caring professions.

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Speaking Up for Safety™ is a welcome reminder to consider and evaluate how we might approach situations we think are unsafe - with kindness, clarity and considered thought.

Speaking up for safety

Mercy Health is committed to providing safe care for patients. In 2019, Mercy Health introduced the Speaking Up for Safety™ program to improve patient safety by promoting an organisation-wide 'speaking up' culture.

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Staff wellbeing

Mercy Health - Health Services People Matter Survey results compare favourably with other health services overall.

However, in some areas there are opportunities for improvement.

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