HDC launches online modules for health and disability service providers


The Health and Disability Commissioner has today launched a new series of online learning modules designed to support providers’ working knowledge and understanding of the Code of Health and Disability Services Consumers’ Rights, and improve their management of complaints.

Today also marks Aotearoa Patient Safety Day, and Morag McDowell says this is an opportunity to highlight the importance of patients’ rights, and how effective resolution of complaints can improve the quality and safety of health care.

Ms McDowell says the new online learning modules will take health and disability care providers, practising at all levels of their disciplines, through practical steps to learning more about the Code and understanding best practice approaches.

She acknowledges the intense pressure providers are currently under and emphasises that “understanding responsibilities under the Code helps improve quality care and avoids complaints. Early resolution can result in the best outcome for both patient and provider, and contribute to effective quality improvement measures.

 “I understand complaints can be stressful and time consuming for providers. However, they offer a significant learning opportunity for providers to understand the experience of consumers directly, as they often reflect what people care most about.

“If handled well they can strengthen the relationship with patients.”

Ms McDowell says the modules have been designed to be as accessible as possible, and learners can do them in their own time at work or at home. They are also designed to be interesting, interactive, and relatable using real scenarios to make the content relevant to health practitioners.

The three modules being launched cover topics such as understanding the purpose of the Code and applying it to practice, informed consent, and understanding the right to complain, providers’ legal obligations in managing complaints, and factors that support early resolution.

On completion of each module participants also receive a certificate, which can be used as part of their continuing professional development programme.

“Today marks the beginning of a more direct and interactive way of bringing the Code to life for providers and ultimately for the users of their services.”

Online educational modules for the public on “Understanding your Rights” are in development with a release planned for early next year.

17 November 2022