Targeting zero: putting patient safety first in Victoria

Health care leaders worldwide have suggested that giving patients a greater role in their care and in the design and monitoring of health systems would greatly improve patient safety. Despite such support for the voice of patients to be respected at the bedside and represented at decision-making tables, progress in this critically important—and some might say obvious—area continues to drag. 

The Government today released the report Targeting Zero: supporting the Victorian hospital system to eliminate avoidable harm and strengthen quality of care and announced a suite of reforms to put patient safety first. The state-wide review, led by Dr Stephen Duckett, was commissioned by the Government following the discovery of a cluster of potentially avoidable newborn and stillborn deaths at Djerriwarrh Health Services.

The Duckett Report recommends revamping the department, and taking a closer look at the role of boards, hospital accountability and clinician engagement.

Other actions to strengthen quality and safety include:

  • an additional $13 million to support this work
  • the establishment of Safer Care Victoria, a new agency dedicated to monitoring and improving quality and safety to work towards zero avoidable harm in our health system
  • a new health information agency to overhaul the way in which data and information is shared across the health system so we know where the concerns are, and where we’re getting it right
  • creation of the Victorian Clinical Council to provide clinical expertise to the Government, the Department and health services on how to make our hospitals safer for Victorian patients
  • public and private hospitals being held to the same quality and safety standards and reporting requirements


  • Review of hospital safety and quality assurance in Victoria - full report

  • Review of hosputal safety and quality assurance in Victoria - executive summary

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