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New Zealand Health Innovation Awards

21 April 2008

Three Waikato finalists in New Zealand Health Innovation Awards

The Waikato is strongly represented in this year's New Zealand Health Innovation Awards (HIA), with three out of 20 finalists coming from the region.

The New Zealand Health Innovation Awards are a long-standing joint initiative by the Ministry of Health and ACC. They celebrate innovative thinking and, often, life changing developments in the health field.

Dr Jan White, Chief Executive of ACC, says the New Zealand Health Innovation Awards continue to show this country is leading the way in pioneering original, and often ground breaking, developments in the health arena.

"ACC is delighted to work with the Ministry of Health in recognising visionary thinking and, ultimately, utilising this to improve the health of New Zealanders."

The three innovations are helping improve the lives of children, those with bowel problems and patients in need of rehabilitation, said Ministry of Health Deputy Director-General Sector Capability and Innovation Margie Apa.

"The Waikato is a region which should be congratulated for its leading-edge projects and enlightened thinking."

The finalists are:

· Waikato District Health Board, Population Health Service (PHS): Hands Up for Health - hand hygiene campaign · Waikato District Health Board: Double Balloon Enteroscopy - A new frontier! · Waikato District Health Board: Measuring patient dependency addresses rehab nurses' needs and discharge planning.

Sending Waikato children home from school with a special hand-out helped them understand the importance of washing and drying their hands. Hand hygiene is the single most effective way to prevent the spread of infection. The Hands Up for Health campaign provided children with a large double-sided hand, two stickers and a fridge magnet to help reinforce the hand hygiene message.

A pioneering new procedure at Waikato Hospital is reducing the need for surgery, cutting the waiting time for diagnosis and reducing the length of time a patient spends in hospital. Double-balloon enteroscopy (DBE) is a procedure which enables doctors to view and take samples of a patient's small bowel without performing invasive surgery.

The final innovation helps people suffering from stroke, head injury and other neurological and medical conditions to get back on their feet faster. Waikato District Health Board is using the Northwick Park Dependency Score (NPDS) which measures a patient?s progress on a daily basis enabling them to set goals and focus on their particular needs.

The HIA, first held in 2003, are proving popular with nearly 130 entries this year. The winner will be announced at a gala dinner in October 2008 at Wellington Town Hall.

Further information including contact details for finalists is available online at


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