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Co-ordinated approach to Diabetes management

7 May 2004

Co-ordinated approach to Diabetes resource management through DHB’s

Without a co-ordinated strategy at the District Health Board level, costs in relation to diabetes could more than quadruple to $1 billion per year in New Zealand over the next 15-20 years.

Speaking at the Diabetes New Zealand Conference in Auckland today Suzanne Snively, a Partner with PricewaterhouseCoopers, said “the issue for the New Zealand healthcare system is that with the predicted increase in incidence and prevalence of diabetes, future financial costs related to the complications of the disease are set to outstrip the funding that the taxpayer can afford. Unless there is other funding made available, the acute needs of those with diabetes complications will crowd out the services for other health needs.”

Diabetes New Zealand, in conjunction with PricewaterhouseCoopers, are developing a voluntary scorecard to assist District Health Boards to gauge their progress over time in providing diabetes-related services and to indicate how effective those services are in reducing the impact of the disease. With this simple tool, District Health Boards will be able to compare their progress against that of the average of their peers, observe best practice, learn from their own experience and others ways to improve their services.

With access to resources for prevention, diagnosis and monitoring, many of the costs currently attributable to Type 2 diabetes can be reduced and could save considerable sums annually.

“The aim of the scorecard is to assist at both a national and DHB level in determining how New Zealand is doing in the campaign against diabetes,” says Ms Snively. “An estimated 116,000 New Zealanders have been diagnosed with diabetes but many more cases are going undetected. Late diagnosis, poor glycaemic control and inattention to related risk factors result in development of devastating complications. These will be increasingly evident in an aging population through preventable poor circulation, foot and eyesight problems.”

A scorecard is a tool developed for measuring organisational performance, requiring measurement and analysis of several indicators to recognise all the components that go into the achievement of successful outcomes. In a business environment it provides a balance between non-financial and financial measures. For the purposes of the Diabetes scorecard it must provide a balance between clinical and non-clinical measures.

The Diabetes scorecard analyses key performances from four dimensions. These are Consumer/Health Service, Population, Financial, learning/Innovation and Internal processes, with indicators for assessment being developed for each of these dimensions.

Diabetes New Zealand and PricewaterhouseCoopers intend to finalise the indicators and which DHB’s will pilot the Scorecard by March 2005.

ENDS

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