Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency - Making room to improve
Look up a health practitioner


Check if your health practitioner is qualified, registered and their current registration status

Making room to improve

06 Oct 2021

In this episode of Taking care, our guests talk about the science and theories that underpin patient safety.

Joining host Susan Biggar are Dr Michael Tresillian, General Physician and Program Director for the Healthcare Improvement Fellowship, Sari Holland, Midwifery Unit Manager at Townsville Hospital and Health Service, and Shailendra Maharaj, Physiotherapist at Queensland Children’s Hospital.

They discuss the evolving complexity of healthcare systems and how patient safety as a discipline, and a commitment to learning from errors and adverse events, can prevent and reduce risks and mitigate patient harm. 

Sari Holland expresses a natural inclination to understand and improve upon systems, to bring about positive change in her workplace. 

‘Patient safety thinking encourages us to understand what’s happening in the workplace, what does a task look like when it’s efficient, what happens when it’s a high workload. There’s always deeper things at play and other system improvements that we can look at to try and make work tasks safer.’

Physiotherapist Shaile Maharaj believes that adopting non-linear approaches and considering the context in which a practising error occurs, can prevent future mistakes: ‘What we see in healthcare is that it’s a complex system, and we’re trying to create a learning system.'  

Dr Tresillian speaks about the need to continually teach improvement to young clinicians and how new ways of thinking and approaching concepts of safety are informing safe practice.

‘Investing in junior leaders right now is an important step because in ten to twenty years’ time the leaders in our system will be thinking this way…so we’ll have a critical mass at some stage where it become the dominant approach, and we’ve achieved a paradigm shift,' said Dr Tresillian.

Listen to the full episode.

Useful links

  • Our guests are involved in a unique program called the Healthcare Improvement Fellowship run by Clinical Excellence Queensland. The program’s focus is on creating future leaders in healthcare improvement.

Did you know?

The Taking care podcast series offers professional and consumer perspectives on current issues and answers some frequently asked questions about public safety in healthcare. Download and listen to the latest Taking care episode today. 

Ahpra releases a new episode fortnightly, discussing current topics and the latest issues affecting safe healthcare in Australia. You can also listen and subscribe on Spotify, Apple Podcasts and by searching ‘Taking Care’ in your podcast player.

Contact us

• For media enquiries, phone (03) 8708 9200. 
• If you have questions or feedback about the podcast, email [email protected]
• For registration enquiries, please phone 1300 419 495 (within Australia) +61 3 9285 3010 (overseas callers).
Page reviewed 6/10/2021