February 25, 2020

Focusing on quality and safety – new members join the HRO committee

Three new members have joined the HRO (High Reliability Organisation) steering committee this month – Nicholas Romeo, Head Respiratory Scientist; Kelly Suber, Consumer and Paula Kuder, Nurse Unit Manager, Renal Services.

Paula joined the committee as she was motivated to play a pro-active role in shaping our health service as a strong foundation for the wellbeing of everyone in the area now and for generations to come.

“I first heard of HRO in one of our Northern Health leadership workshops.  The concept of a high-reliability organisation that draws on safety inspirations from other industries such as the airline industry genuinely inspired me to ‘look outside the box’ and not just accept the usual statistics for healthcare and instead aim for a higher standard of care.  For me personally, it means people will have complete confidence in the organisation’s ability to keep their loved ones safe and have the best care possible,” she said.

Paula works with in-home dialysis with patients who’ve lived with chronic diseases for years, but are still remarkably positive with taking charge of their care. She is passionate about initiatives and projects that centre consumers in their goals and looks at patients’ holistic wellbeing by giving them the tools and empowering them to make the best choices for themselves and their families.

Kelly Suber is part of the Community Participation Program, with over 12 years of executive leadership experience, delivering high level strategic and operational planning focused on innovation and efficiency, financial management, risk mitigation and governance.

HRO caught her attention as she felt she was was at a stage in her life and and career where she wanted to take the skills, knowledge, expertise and experience and apply this to environments where she could make a difference, even if the difference was as simple as changing the conversation or highlighting new conversations that needed unpacking.

“HRO is about the people. All the people from patient, to clinician, to the cleaner, to a supplier, from the CEO to the Board and how each of them play an integral part in the way  organisations mold and deploys services based on needs. It’s also about understanding the safety/zero harm implications or unintended consequences of actions/inaction,” she said.

“In all my work I maintain the mandate that it is not about the change, it is always about the people and their intersection with the change,” she added.

Nicholas Romeo is equally passionate about providing trusted care to the northern community. He has seen firsthand the improvements in quality and safety that occurs from following the HRO methodology through his involvement in the Respiratory Outpatient Services Comprehensive Unit based Safety Program (CUSP).

“I want to find ways to help others make the same improvements. My exposure to HRO methodology started with completing the Reliable Innovation and Safety Science (RISSN) program offered by the HRO team. Soon after, we  launched our Outpatient Services CUSP using the HRO methodology. From these experiences, I have been able to see the tremendous value of the HRO principles and how small changes in systems and processes can have a big impact,” he said.

As the representative for non-clinical staff, Nicholas is hoping the team can initiate projects to communicate better, identify common problems and share existing solutions.

“I also hope the newly established HRO Champions network will provide a strong foundation and give everyone a pathway to the HRO steering committee. This will facilitate all staff to be a voice for change, encourage collaborations and form the foundation to initiate projects,” he added.

Featured image (left to right): Kelly Suber, Nicholas Romeo, Paula Kuder.