2016 December - From the Hospital Inspector's Car
This year I started my second round of inspections of hospitals in NSW and I have noticed marked improvements in the practices I have seen so far. Many hospitals have renovated, moved to new premises or enthusiastically shared their plans to renovate or move in the near future.
Looking back over inspections in 2012 and 2013 the main issues I found related to:
- 1. No evidence of estimates being provided to clients
- 2. Cleanliness
- 3. Anaesthesia equipment (servicing of vaporisers)
- 4. Drug Registers or records for S8s
- 5. Structural problems
You can view further statistics from my findings on the Board’s website under Resources, Statistics, Hospital Licensing.
I have inspected around 240 premises in the last 2 years with visits in the last year representing the start of my second round of inspections. The main issues I have found (see graph below) are related to:
- 1. Anaesthesia equipment (servicing of vaporisers)
- 2. Drug Registers or records for S8s
- 3. No evidence of estimates being provided
- 4. Record keeping
- 5. Cleanliness
So, what do you need to do before my next visit to your hospital?
- Make sure you check the date for servicing your anaesthetic vaporiser(s) and allow sufficient time to book in a service if required
- Make sure your S8 Register is complete and accurate, do your stocktake at least every March and September, stress the importance of this record with staff, and report any the loss or theft of any S8’s to NSW Health using the online form
- Make sure you are recording somewhere that you are providing clients with estimates for veterinary services; the Board recommends written estimates and whilst verbal estimates are sufficient you still need to note this estimate and discussion somewhere in the record
- Make sure your medical records are accurate and complete so if you use cage cards or various other forms for your patients these need to be completed properly and stored as part of your medical records for at least 3 years; it is great to see record keeping systems in place but sometimes the procedures need to be tightened or followed more closely to gain the true benefit for the practice and your patients
- Make sure your drug labels are compliant with the legislation
- Make sure you pay regular attention to the general hygiene and maintenance of your hospital although I say this noting that this has gone from my number 2 issue to my number 5 issue
- Make sure you download the Self-Assessment Checklist for Hospital Superintendents from the website under Resources, Guidelines, Hospital Licensing and do your own self-assessment before my next visit.
Don’t forget that if you do move your hospital to a new address you need to apply for a new hospital licence!
It has been great to see the changes and improvements in hospitals over the last year on this second round of inspections. So many vets are proud of their facilities and look to these visits as an opportunity to both seek objective advice and show off their latest improvements.
Wishing you a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year