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Posted on 06 Oct 2021
Quality/safety improvement

VAHI reporting is aiding new programs to improve the quality, safety and experience of mothers and their families, marking this year’s World Patient Safety Day theme of safe maternal and newborn care.

World Patient Safety Day took place on 17 September, with organiser the World Health Organisation urging action to support safe and respectful childbirth. Approximately 810 women die every day around the world from preventable causes related to pregnancy and childbirth.

In Victoria, patient safety data collected and reported by VAHI is helping  highlight shared areas of concern and being used to guide the development of new care initiatives for mothers and their families.

One such initiative is the Safer baby collaborative, a partnership between Safer Care Victoria (SCV), the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI) and the Stillbirth Centre for Research Excellence.

From June 2019 to May 2021 the Safer baby collaborative brought together 18 Victorian maternity hospitals to reduce preventable stillbirth. During the that period:

  • three times as many women stopped smoking during pregnancy as before
  • stillbirth rates dropped by 21%
  • more than 20 lives were saved.

At the same time SCV was also working with IHI on the Better Births for Women collaborative, which focused on reducing severe perineal laceration (tearing) during birth at 12 Victorian hospitals.

Through a combination of consumer engagement and promotion of evidence-based best-practice care the Collaborative led to:

  • Severe (3rd and 4th degree) tearing dropping by 45%.
  • More than 155 women avoiding a severe perineal tear.

Beyond clinical safety, VAHI reporting on the Victorian Maternity Experience Survey is also helping to generate discussion within health services on how they can improve patient experience.

Survey data helps us make sure mothers and families feel safe, informed, supported, and listened to, while receiving the best possible care from their health professionals. 

Promotional material to support the relaunch of the Victorian Healthcare Experience Surveys (VHES), which includes the Victorian Maternity Experience Survey, will be available to download on the new VHES Results Portal. The new portal launches on 15 October with posters and flyers available via the Resources tab.

To find out more about the VHES, please contact

Page last updated: 06 Oct 2021