Safety and quality update: January 2022

17 January 2022

New this month: Latest safety alerts; ACSQHC Patient Safety Culture Measurement Toolkit; National Medicines Symposium and Choosing Wisely Australia National Meeting; International Forum on Quality and Safety in Healthcare; HQSCNZ adverse events learning program; Ahpra Taking Care podcast.

New safety alerts

We've issued safety alerts for:

  • Co-prescription of gabapentinoids and opioids
  • Reissued: Accuracy of pulse oximeters at low oxygen saturation

See all safety alerts

webAIRS article: the second 4000 incidents

The article ‘A cross-sectional overview of the second 4000 incidents reported to webAIRS, a de-identified web-based anaesthesia incident reporting system in Australia and New Zealand’ has recently been published in Volume 49, Issue 6 of Anaesthesia and Intensive Care.
“These findings support continued emphasis on human and system factors to promote and improve patient safety in anaesthesia care”.
Read the article 
For more published research using webAIRS data, visit webAIRS News and Publications (

Visit the webAIRS website to register to report incidents. You can register as an individual practitioner or as part of an organisation. To learn how to use webAIRS for local incident reporting and discussions at Morbidity and Mortality meetings, contact Dr Martin Culwick, ANZTADC Medical Director, at 

ACSQHC releases Patient Safety Culture Measurement Toolkit

The Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care has released a Patient Safety Culture Measurement Toolkit. The web-based toolkit provides advice on collecting and using information on patient safety culture for quality improvement. There is also a suite of templates and a new survey that has been validated in Australian hospitals.

The Commission will host events and release further resources later in 2022.

Visit the website

Abstracts now open for National Medicines Symposium 2022 and Choosing Wisely Australia National Meeting – closing 23 February

The 2022 Choosing Wisely Australia National Meeting will be held on Tuesday 3 May 2022, with a theme of Choosing Wisely for a sustainable health system. It will be followed later in the month by the National Medicines Symposium (NMS) 2022, to be held on Tuesday 31 May, with a theme The ABC of health literacy.

Both events will be delivered in an online-only format. Abstracts are now open, and will close on 23 February 2022.

View call for abstracts

International Forum on Quality and Safety in Healthcare – call for ePosters closing 23 February

The International Forum on Quality and Safety in Healthcare is planned for 6-8 June 2022 in Sydney. Attendees can submit ePosters to be viewed at the conference, to share the outcomes and lessons from your recent quality improvement or safety projects to help international colleagues with tackling similar challenges. ePoster abstracts must be submitted by 23 February.

View call for ePosters

Health Quality and Safety Commission New Zealand adverse events learning program (workshops) – February to March 2022

The Health Quality and Safety Commission New Zealand adverse events learning program aims to improve consumer safety by supporting organisations to report, review and learn from adverse events that occur in health and disability services. Sessions in the ‘general health’ stream will take place in February to March 2022.

View and register

Ahpra Taking Care podcast episode: Honest error and system failure – Challenges for regulators

A new episode of the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (Ahpra) podcast ‘Taking Care’ discusses what is a safe culture, and what is an unsafe culture, in healthcare. Guests are Andrea Sutcliffe, Chief Executive and Registrar of the Nursing and Midwifery Council in the UK, Martin Fletcher, CEO of Ahpra and Adjunct Professor Debora Picone, CEO of the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Healthcare.

Listen to the podcast

Last updated 16:33 12.07.2022