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ACC unveils new approach to injury prevention

18 March 2014

ACC unveils new approach to injury prevention

ACC announced today that it is updating its investment approach to injury prevention, to ensure the best outcomes for New Zealanders.

The updated approach reflects current trends in claims information and a strong commitment to addressing improved customer service and the fact that people’s activities and needs change over time.

ACC’s General Manager of Injury Prevention, Dr Megan McKenna, says the change reflects ACC’s commitment to more effectively carry out one of its core roles: preventing New Zealanders from getting hurt.

“Providing support for injured people is a huge part of what ACC does, but we also want to do everything we can to help prevent injuries from happening in the first place.”

ACC has begun evaluating all proposed injury prevention initiatives using a new investment model, which considers:
• value of investment
• execution effectiveness
• strategic fit
• benefit realisation timeframe.

“First and foremost, we’ll look at how likely it is that ideas and programmes we invest in will achieve successful results for people. We’ll also consider more carefully how the investment fits with our strategic priorities, and when the benefits of the investment will be realised.

“Prevention covers a range of issues, including some that are complex and take a long time to address. For example, programmes that raise awareness of sexual violence may initially lead to increased rather than decreased numbers of claims. This is because the number of people currently reporting these crimes and seeking support from agencies such as ACC significantly under-represents the true extent of sexual violence in New Zealand.

“Obviously if more people can get support for injuries that’s a better outcome for people in need, so we can’t just measure the effectiveness of injury prevention initiatives in terms of reduced claims alone.”

Dr McKenna says ACC will also collaborate more closely with other Government agencies, to coordinate and maximise resources more effectively to achieve the best results for New Zealanders.

“There are many issues that lead to injuries, such as family violence and sexual violence, which overlap traditional agency boundaries, so addressing them calls for a joint approach.”

Cabinet recently approved a Cross-Government Injury Prevention Work Plan, and ACC has begun meeting with our partners to scope potential projects and deliverables.

At the same time, ACC is also developing a more sophisticated approach to analysing the information recorded on claims, to obtain better insights on how injuries happen.

“This will help us focus on the areas that matter most. We’ve identified seven key areas of injury that together contribute to the majority of high costs for New Zealanders.”

These areas are:
• falls
• road injuries
• workplace injuries
• treatment injuries
• sport and recreational injuries
• lifting, carrying and strain injuries
• intentional harm.

Dr McKenna says the changes announced today will go hand in hand with a renewed focus on how to better serve and reach ACC customers.

“ACC is committed to keeping New Zealanders safe and healthy, and investing in injury prevention activities that support that goal.”

ENDS

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