February 1, 2021

Join Steve in the HRO Champions Network

Steve Ferguson is the new Project Officer in Project Management / High Reliability Organisation (HRO) office, and a member of the HRO Champions Network, whose passion for patient care led to his involvement in quality and improvement projects.

“I was always interested in improving patient care and curious about how we were doing things and if something can be done better. Coming from a clinical background, project management appealed to me as I could see it as a different way of achieving the same goal – the best possible patient care,” he said.

Steve initially started working at Northern as a student, and landed his first role as a junior physiotherapist. His career temporarily continued in the UK where he lived and worked for two years, following a return to Northern Health to a clinical role and then moving into service development and non-clinical work.

“Actually, Mondays and Tuesdays I work as a physiotherapist and in Community Access, and the rest of my week I work on numerous improvement projects, like looking at how we can care best for homeless patients or those with no fixed address,” he explained.

Steve became aware of the HRO and Project Management office during the planning for “What the Hack” weekend, which had to be delayed due to COVID-19.

“I made some submissions and ideas for the Hack Weekend. One idea was selected to go through for the weekend, and it was around better preparing patients for discharge. I was very fortunate to be able to bring together a multidisciplinary team to collaboratively design a possible digital solution that considered all domains of patient communication,” he explained.

From that, Steve joined the HRO Champions, a group of Northern Health staff from various disciplines and campuses, who meet regularly once a month to discuss quality and safety improvement initiatives.

“One project the Champions are currently looking at is reviewing education to staff and how we can do it in a more multi-disciplinary way, rather than doing our training and education in silos. As a member, I get to work alongside people who might be in a very different area and have different experiences and ways of looking at patient care. The group brings people together to collaboratively solve problems and helps us find out what is happening in the organisation and how things fit together,” he explained.

Steve enjoys being part of the HRO Champions network as he sees it as a place where people can bring an idea forward to the group and have it heard.

“From that idea, they can be put in contact with the people who are working on something similar so there is a chance for collaborative work involvement. Also, you can learn the skills of how you can turn an idea into a reality. It’s a place where frontline staff can get an idea heard by the executives. And most importantly, it’s a friendly group of people,” he added.

If you would like to hear more about the HRO Champions network and join, please email: HROChampionNetwork@nh.org.au