NOCA Webinar 2021 - Focus on Quality time

The NOCA Webinar 2021 took place on Tuesday 2nd February, as part of RCSI Charter Week. The event focused on the theme - 'Quality Time: The value of getting it right' and saw over 500 delegates tune in to view the event.

​The NOCA Webinar 2021 was opened by Mr Kenneth Mealy, Chair of the NOCA Board. He welcomed all attendees and put a firm focus on the need for investment in sustainable, high-quality clinical audit and quality improvement programmes. Mr Mealy acknowledged what happens when things go wrong in healthcare, considering not only the harm to patients and their families but also the monetary and reputational costs, which could always be better used elsewhere in the health service.

Referencing notable examples such as the CervicalCheck and the Hepatitis C and HIV blood contamination scandals, Mr Mealy emphasised the importance of health care in getting it ‘right’.

If we have learnt anything in this country, it should be that while audit and quality assurance programmes do come with a cost – this cost pales in comparison to the cost of not getting it right.

Mr Kenneth Mealy, Chair, NOCA Governance Board

​Professor Pat O’Mahony, Chair of the Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA) and Director of Clinical Research Development Ireland provided the keynote address. His presentation focused on quality assurance and highlighted that quality is both as a prerequisite and part of the solution to getting it right in healthcare.

Dr Joan Power, Consultant Haematologist with the Irish Blood Transfusion Service spoke about shifting the paradigm in quality improvement. She spoke about the National Transfusion Advisory Group, established in January 2020, to transform blood management for patients and clinicians alike.

Dr Rory Dwyer, Clinical Lead for the Irish National ICU Audit provided an update on how ICU’s have responded to COVID-19. He provided detailed insights into the surges in the virus over the past year and the development of the ICU Bed Information System. This system provides real-time data on ICU bed capacity across the system.

Dr Brian Creedon, NOCA Clinical Director gave an overview of the achievements of NOCA Audits in 2020 and stated that there is a real focus on continuing to nurture the excellent relationships we have developed with Public Patient Interest representatives. Incorporating Patient Reported Outcome Measures in our audits is also key to NOCA’s success.

Collette Tully, NOCA Executive Director provided the closing address. She noted that 16 submissions were made for the NOCA Quality Improvement Champion Award 2021, an accolade which seeks to recognise the commitment and dedication in the Irish health care system to the constant need for quality improvement to improve patient care. She also praised all applicants, who despite the pressures of COVID-19 on the healthcare system, continued to place importance on quality improvement.

She announced the winner and two highly commended projects which were submitted. The winning project hailed from University Hospital Limerick, titled ‘Accelerated Community Discharge Careplan’. The project focused on the early and safe transition of hip fracture patients to home, with input from a multi-disciplinary team to support early community-based rehabilitation. The two highly commended projects were from The National Maternity Hospital and Mater Misericordiae University Hospital. The former for their project on ‘Getting the balance right for families: managing low blood sugars in newborn infants in a maternity setting.’ The latter for their project on ‘Improving hip fracture patient’s admission times to bed. Standard 1 of the IHFD.’ A booklet of all submissions will be made available to download here in the coming days.

Collette also introduced the #PeopleBehindthePPE campaign. In an effort to show our gratitude and appreciation, we created a photo montage of our frontline healthcare workers. Photos received to date were displayed as part of the NOCA Webinar 2021 and can be viewed here. The campaign is open for submissions until the end of February and the video montage will be updated once all photos have been received.

The #PeopleBehindthePPE campaign is a way to acknowledge and celebrate the amazing dedication shown by staff across our health service in what are incredibly challenging times. We get to see the many faces from a multitude of disciplines and healthcare areas who have worked together to ensure the Irish health service has survived this crisis.

Collette Tully, Executive Director, NOCA

All presentations from the event are available to view below by clicking on the presentation title. A full recording of the event will be made available here over the coming days.

Speaker Presentation
Prof Pat O’Mahony, Chair of HIQA and Director, Clinical Research Development Ireland Keynote: Quality assures best outcomes
Dr Joan Power, Consultant Haematologist, Irish Blood Transfusion Service Quality Improvement - Shifting the paradigm
Dr Rory Dwyer, Clinical Lead, Irish National ICU Audit, NOCA COVID 19; how ICU responded
Dr Brian Creedon, Clinical Director, NOCA NOCA reflections and looking to the future
Collette Tully, Executive Director, NOCA NOCA Quality Improvement Champion Award & Closing address