Jul 11, 2023
While Heidi Atkins admits the Clinical Quality and Risk Manager isn’t always the most popular role in a hospital, she loves working in a position which advocates for patients to ensure they receive the highest quality of care and achieve the best possible health outcomes.
Heidi joined Ramsay in 2013 as a Clinical Nurse Specialist, then in 2015 she transitioned into a Nursing Unit Manager role. In 2017 she was appointed Lake Macquarie Private’s first Clinical Documentation Specialist then in 2019 returned to Ramsay as the Nursing Unit Manager, before being awarded the Clinical Quality and Risk Manager role in 2021.
“Basically, I’m responsible for the safety of the patient by proxy, as it’s through all the other hospital employees who are at the bedside,” Heidi said.
“I look after the hospital’s policies and procedures, manage incidents, ensure the hospital is complying with the National Safety and Quality Standards, collect clinical indicators data, monitor trends and work to create positive change based on the data.”
Heidi explains that her work can occasionally be perceived as burdensome by her peers.
“I have always tried to make quality appealing! But we often make processes longer to make them safer. We put spotlights on errors and then spend time pulling them apart to learn how we can do better.”
“We increase the burden on managers' already overwhelming workload, often showing high levels of empathy and understanding when addressing complaints. However, we do this because we are patient advocates and want to make the hospital as high functioning as it can be, to benefit the patients.”
Heidi’s pathway to leadership was boosted by her participation in the Nurse Leaders of Tomorrow program.
“It has grown me as a leader in so many ways that myself and people around me are continuously benefiting from.”
“The challenge of the face-to-face days and the online work has made me really focus on my personal leadership journey. It makes you stop and really dissect your management and have a very honest look at the way you approach leadership,” said Heidi.
Thanks to her hard work and leadership, Lake Macquarie Private recently passed its National Safety and Quality Health Service Standards (NSQHSS) V2.1 accreditation with flying colours.
Heidi will complete the 12-month Nursing Leaders of Tomorrow Program next month.