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Waikato Hospital Commended At National Awards

Media Release

Date: 4 November 2008

Waikato Hospital Commended At National Health Awards

A pioneering new procedure at Waikato Hospital, which reduces the need for surgery, cuts the waiting time for diagnosis and reduces the length of time a patient spends in hospital, got a commendation at tonight's Health Innovation Awards in Wellington.

The National Heart Foundation won the supreme award.

Waikato District Health Board (DHB) had three finalists:

• Double Balloon Enteroscopy – A new frontier! in the excellence in treatment category (commended)

• Hands up for health – Hand hygiene campaign, in the excellence in prevention category

• Measuring patient dependency addresses rehab nurses' needs and discharge planning, in the excellence in rehabilitation category.

Twenty finalists chosen from nearly 130 entries competed for a win in their category and for the supreme award. Finalists presented their ideas during an expo at Wellington Town Hall before the awards ceremony.

Details of Waikato DHB's three finalists:

Double balloon enteroscopy - commended

This 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.

A double-balloon enteroscopy enables doctors to view and take samples of a patient's small bowel, allowing them to diagnose cancers and other causes of intestinal bleeding without performing invasive surgery.

The procedure improves the quality of life for patients by reducing the length of time they stay in hospital. Often the patient can walk in and out of hospital on the same day of the procedure.

It is also safer for the patient as it eliminates the need for surgery, and means no blood transfusions are required.

The relative ease of the procedure means it is much cheaper than performing surgery. Seventy per cent of patients receive a diagnosis allowing them to get treatment and for the remaining 30 per cent, the procedure can show that the patient does not have disease of the small bowel thus avoiding the need for more invasive surgery in order to make a diagnosis.

Waikato Hospital is the first and only hospital in New Zealand to undertake the double-balloon enteroscopy and around 60 people have undergone the procedure, including many patients from outside the Waikato region.

Hands up for health

Sending Waikato children home from school with a special handout helped them understand the importance of washing and drying their hands.

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.

The project team developed hand hygiene resources and public health nurses delivered an education package to primary and intermediate schools, as well as registered early childhood centres within the Waikato DHB region. The campaign also indirectly targeted the wider community through the younger children who were enthusiastic messengers to family and wh*nau.

Interactive 'glo germ' experiments were used to help children understand that invisible germs are on their hands and that good hand hygiene can remove these germs.

The Ministry of Health funded the programme and it ran from July to November 2006. More than 50,000 households received the hand out.

The Hands up for Health campaign is currently in a maintenance phase, targeting pre-schoolers' and new entrant students.

New tool leads to a swifter recovery at Waikato Hospital

People suffering from stroke, head injury and other neurological and medical conditions get help back on their feet faster with a new tool.

The Northwick Park Dependency Score measures a patient's progress on a daily basis by assessing how much of a nurse's time the patient needs. Grading tasks, such as going to the toilet or getting dressed, looks at the number of nurses needed, the difficulty of each task and how long each task takes.

The tool originated in Northwick Park, London, but Waikato Hospital's assessment, treatment and rehabilitation ward modified it. The ward's operations manager Matt Watson said the tool enables rehabilitation staff like physiotherapists, occupational therapists, social workers and nurses to assess a patient and develop a plan to focus on their particular needs. Measuring of the effectiveness takes place at weekly meetings.

The tool helps medical staff plan the patient's discharge. It also leads to easier and clearer communication between nursing staff and a patient's relatives, so families know the level of care once patients leave hospital.


• Supreme Award Winner: The National Heart Foundation of New Zealand; Project Target 450 – Reducing sodium in bread.

• Excellence in Prevention: The National Heart Foundation of New Zealand; Project Target 450 – Reducing sodium in bread.

• Excellence in Rehabilitation: Ministry of Social Development; PATHS – Providing Access to Health Solutions.

• Excellence in Process Improvement: West Coast District Health Board; Alternative Pathways for New Patients.

• Excellence in Primary Health Care: ProCare Network North & Ngati Whatua Nga Rima o Kaipara; Te Awaroa Lifestyles – A manawhenua & mainstream PHO partnership.

• Excellence in Quality Improvement: Canterbury District Health Board; Developing an acute non-invasive ventilation service at Christchurch Hospital.

• Excellence in Innovation: Hawke's Bay District Health Board; Incubator programme – health careers in schools.

• Glenys Baldick Memorial Award for emerging leaders in health: Lorna Murray, CEO of Connect (previously known as Action for Mental Health Society or AMHS).

• Finalists' Choice: Hawke's Bay District Health Board; Incubator programme – health careers in schools.


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