Global excellence award for Frere

Frere CEO Dr Rolene Wagner, right, left the country for Australia on Saturday, will receive the IHF/Dr Kwang Tae Kim Grand Award
Frere CEO Dr Rolene Wagner, right, left the country for Australia on Saturday, will receive the IHF/Dr Kwang Tae Kim Grand Award
Image: Bhongo Jacob

Frere Hospital will be among six hospitals in the world to receive a prestigious international accolade on Wednesday at the 42nd World Hospital Congress in Brisbane, Australia.

The International Hospital Federation (IHF) is recognising the East London hospital for their turnaround quality improvement project.

The hospital will receive the top IHF/Dr Kwang Tae Kim Grand Award.

The IHF judges looked at 118 health organisations in 33 countries, with 27 entries selected as finalists under the federation’s four categories.

Frere was in the group to receive the highest award.

According to the IHF website, Dr Kwang Tae Kim is an internationally-renowned surgeon who has made a contribution to clinical excellence in the healthcare sector in South Korea and internationally. He was president of the International Hospital Federation from 2013 to 2015

 

Frere CEO Dr Rolene Wagner, who left the country for Australia on Saturday, will receive the award.

She said: “I feel like a captain lifting the champion league cup. The overwhelming feeling is one of pride and joy.

I feel like a captain lifting the champion league cup. The overwhelming feeling is one of pride and joy
Frere CEO Dr Rolene Wagner

“I am so proud of each of our managers and staff who come to work every day to make a difference in the lives of the people we serve.”

Wagner said all public hospitals in the country were members of the IHF.

She said after Frere Hospital received an encouraging nudge from the national department of health for their improvement project, the hospital took the leap and entered the rigorous international award.

Wagner said the hospital adopted a number of quality improvement projects that produced significant reductions in patient deaths and led to greater patient satisfaction with the care received.

“It is extremely gratifying to receive such a prestigious recognition for the hard work our management and staff have put into turning Frere around under very difficult conditions.

“We set out five years ago to provide world-class, patient care so that every patient has the best possible outcome and a positive experience of care from our team of dedicated employees,” Wagner said.

She reflected on the hospital’s journey from 2012, when it made headlines for all the wrong reasons, such as a high death rate among infants and delayed medical attention.

She said hospital infrastructure was in a state of disrepair, and public confidence stood at an all-time low.

“The Frere turnaround demonstrates that quality service is possible even in highly constrained environments.

“It provides models of how, with a specific leadership and operations management approach, the right focus and collaboration with strategic partners, it is possible to accelerate and sustain quality improvement initiatives,” she said.

She said delivering care in the public sector was a complex experience with a highly bureaucratic environment and major resource constraints. “This has forced us to be innovative in solving our challenges,” she said.

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