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Don't drop the ball!

These are the words that Deputy Nursing Service Manager Karin Lategan used when she spurred personnel at the Mediclinic Constantiaberg onwards towards the hospital's fifth accreditation survey since 1996. It was these efforts that earned her the prestigious Katrin Kleijnhans Award for Quality, by her peers at the hospital.
A proud GM, Clive Lake, Karin Lategan and CEO of COHSASA, Jacqui Stewart who handed over the trophy.

Karin was chosen to receive the award which was presented to her at a recent function at the hospital.

According to the hospital’s General Manager, Clive Lake, it was Lategan’s perennial calm and clear logic and her ability to cultivate teamwork that helped the hospital to get 11 service elements and departments achieving a score of 99 or 100.

Deputy Nursing Service Manager, Karin Lategan who was awarded the Katrin Kleijnhans Quality Award for 2018 at Mediclinic Constantiaberg.
This is more remarkable since this 238-bed, multidisciplinary, specialist private hospital in the southern suburbs of Cape Town has been undergoing a general upgrade for the past 18 months. The R200m renovation will only be complete in 18 months’ time but despite these disruptions, the hospital achieved a score of 98 in the last accreditation survey in November 2017 and has been accredited until February 2021.

Managing patients during an upgrade can be difficult but according to Renaldo Adams, Mediclinic Constantiaberg’s Patient Experience Manager, “the trick is to tell the patients what they are in for before they are admitted – unless of course they are accident victims. In this way one can manage expectations and ensure that patients are not misled.”

In his address to the core “matrix” staff of the hospital, GM Clive Lake said that as far as he was concerned, everyone at the hospital deserved to get the Katrin Kleijnhans Quality Award but he had chosen Karin because of her quiet determination and perseverance and the extra hours she had put in to ensure that the hospital achieved COHSASA accreditation.

Handing over the award, CEO of COHSASA Jacqui Stewart said that the award had been established in honour of COHSASA colleague, Dr Katrin Kleijnhans, who had remained so passionate to the cause of quality in healthcare that she had worked until two days before her death.

The Katrin Kleijnhans Quality Trophy is awarded to an individual, a unit, a department or a discipline in a healthcare facility that made the most impressive or substantial contribution to quality improvement during the COHSASA accreditation process.

Stewart said that the issue of quality in healthcare in Africa will be in the spotlight over the next few years with the world’s largest quality conference held by the International Society for Quality in Healthcare (ISQua) coming to Cape Town – a perfect opportunity to showcase quality improvements that are happening on the continent. She said that Mediclinic’s long association with COHSASA and the data at their disposal could be submitted as research papers to present at the conference to be held at the CTICC from 20 to 23 October next year.

After receiving the award, a modest Karin Lategan remarked: “I could not have done it without everyone sitting here in this room,” referring to the matrix team. But the consensus was that in fact, “nobody” could have done the required work without Karin.

“I do emphasise that quality is not a one-off phenomenon. One must work at it all the time and one of my favourite lines when I talk to the personnel is: “Don’t drop the ball.”

COHSASA's press office

COHSASA
The Council for Health Service Accreditation of Southern Africa has achieved global recognition and is one of only 30 healthcare accrediting bodies recognised by the International Society for Quality in Health Care (ISQua).
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