Making treatment safer

We're helping to make treatment safer for you. We support health professionals and encourage conversations around patient safety.

A treatment injury is a personal injury caused by treatment from a registered health professional. There are some exclusions. In some cases, the cause of the injury will be inappropriate treatment.

We encourage ways to keep patients safe – as we do for workplaces, sport, on the road, and at home.

Encouraging safer treatment

Enabling safer health care will reduce the amount and severity of harm that may happen when you're undergoing treatment. This means there will be less suffering, shorter hospital stays and less chance of re-admission.

In 2017 we accepted 8,747 claims for injuries caused by treatments. Each of these claims represents someone harmed during treatment. Most of these injuries were preventable.

We're here to assist you when you’re injured. In most cases, injuries will resolve quickly, but for a small number of cases, it can have a lasting impact on you and your family.

We’re here to help health professionals learn from what happened, to prevent the same injuries from happening again.

To encourage conversations around treatment safety, we've released detailed information on treatment injuries in public and private surgical hospitals.

Supporting treatment safety

Our treatment safety initiatives

The best way to improve treatment safety is for us to work in collaboration with those on the front line.

We have six key initiatives that address:

  • surgical safety
  • infection prevention and surveillance
  • pressure injuries
  • medication safety
  • clinical incident reviews
  • brain injuries in newborns.

We've committed a $45 million investment to treatment safety programmes between 2017 and 2022.

We work with the Health Quality and Safety Commission (HQSC), the Ministry of Health (MoH), District Health Boards (DHBs) and others to deliver these initiatives.

Find out more about the initiatives:

Supporting treatment safety for providers

Last published: 16 May 2019