November 28, 2018

Excellence in Safety: Dr Dean Pritchard

Nominated for his clinical leadership in spinal management, Acting Director of Emergency Department – Emergency Physician, Dr Dean Pritchard, received the award for ‘Excellence in Safety’ at the inaugural Staff Recognition Awards.

Challenged by the lack of a dedicated spinal service at Northern Health, Dean and the quality team identified some system issues that needed to be fixed to better manage spinal patients.

“This was one of the biggest pieces of work I’ve contributed to at Northern Health,” Dean says.

Dean was involved with a team who met with a patient’s family to discuss the findings of a quality case review, and most importantly, explained what things were going to change in response.

“I think being involved in the implementation of a new process really drives you,” Dean says.

In collaboration with the Emergency Department, General Surgery Department, General Medicine and Head of Neurosurgery at St Vincent’s Hospital, a new process was created to better manage spinal patients moving forward.

The new management system was presented at a recent Safe Practice Forum, highlighting Northern Health’s progress in treating an increasing number of patients presenting with spinal fractures.

Deputy Director Emergency Department, Jack Yeung, who nominated Dean says, “Dean has been instrumental in his clinical leadership with Spinal Management Protocol Version 2 and has worked well with the Orthotics team at Northern Health.”

On winning the award, Dean says, “there was a lot of work done outside normal work hours and a lot of work done outside my usual scope of practice to make this happen, so to be recognised for that was nice.”

When asked what it is about Northern Health he enjoys, he says it’s the patient mix and staff.

“The presentations are so rich and diverse, and the patients in this area absolutely need the Emergency Department to maintain their physical and mental health.”

“I also like the fact that despite us growing into the size of a larger hospital, we still maintain that friendly interaction between different departments. We’re all still very collegiate and it translates into the way we practice.”

Sponsored by Maxxia and BankVic, our Quarterly Staff Recognition Awards have been designed to formally recognise outstanding contributions by our employees and celebrate staff excellence. Nominations for the next Quarterly Staff Recognition Awards will open December 2018.