GRACE Program awarded National ACHS Quality Improvement Award

Calvary Bruce Public Hospital Bruce in partnership with Capital Health Network, were yesterday evening awarded an Australian Council of Healthcare Standards (ACHS) Clinical Excellence and Patient Safety Award for their “Trialling a Geriatric Rapid Acute Care Service in the ACT”.

ACHS CEO, Dr Karen Luxford presented the award, saying the breadth of entries this year demonstrated the strong value attached to developing patient safety and quality projects in healthcare.  “Each of the winners has created a substantial improvement in health by implementing a quality improvement activity within the last two years which demonstrates measurable results that benefits patients or staff.”

The Geriatric Rapid Acute Care Evaluation (GRACE) service provides clinical care to Canberrans in residential aged care facilities (RACFs) to better manage their conditions, preventing a trip to hospital.  The pilot involved five north Canberra RACFs under a partnership between Calvary Bruce Public, the Capital Health Network and ACT Health.

The service involves specialist clinicians visiting RACFs to assess residents experiencing a chronic or acute health episode.  After assessment, a care plan involving the resident’s primary care provider, the RACF staff, and emergency health services is developed.

More than 500 residents from RACFs participated in the GRACE pilot between October 2017 and January 2019.  The pilot resulted in a 24 per cent reduction in ED presentations and a 25 percent reduction in admissions from RACFs and where hospital admission is unavoidable, a decrease in average length of hospital stay.

The ACT Government has provided Calvary with an additional $9 million in funding and the service will be expanded to all RACFs in the ACT over the next three years and a pilot is being conducted in Adelaide, South Australia based on the ACT model.

Attendees at the award ceremony:

Calvary – Virginia Bennett, GRACE Clinical Nurse Manager; Dr Mary-Ann Kulh, GRACE Geriatrician; Rowena Fawole, GRACE Project Clinical Nurse Manager; Mark Dykgraaf, General Manager – Calvary Public Hospital Bruce; Dr John Merchant, Calvary Public Hospital Bruce
Capital Network – Gaylene Coulton, CEO; Julie Porritt, Deputy CEO; Shelly McInnis, Consumer Representative


Photo: Representing Calvary Hospital Bruce (L-R) Mark Dykgraaf, Dr Mary-Ann Kulh, Fiona Carruthers, Virginia Bennett, and Rowena Fawole.


About ACHS
The Australian Council on Healthcare Standards (ACHS), an independent organisation dedicated to improving the quality and safety of health care.
The ACHS provides a range of accreditation standards specifically designed for health services including, but not limited to, public and private hospitals, community health care centres, day procedure centres and non-acute care organisations that support the delivery of health services.