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Manukau-based PHO leads the way

Manukau-based PHO leads the way with heart and diabetes checks

For the second time in a row, Manukau-based primary health organisation Total Healthcare leads the country with the highest success rate for heart health and diabetes testing.

For the first quarter of the 2013/14 year, Total Healthcare took the top spot with 83 per cent of its eligible population having had their risk assessed as part of the national health targets.

This equates to 16,000 checks undertaken by Total Healthcare's contracted providers, East Tamaki Healthcare GP clinics.

East Tamaki Healthcare clinical services manager, nursing and allied health, Gillian Davies attributes the PHO's success to “innovative use of the non-clinical workforce”.

The PHO recruited and educated staff to approach eligible patients at East Tamaki Healthcare clinics, Mrs Davies says.

Patient eligibility is determined by gender, ethnicity and age.

When a patient who is eligible for the heart check arrives at a clinic, the computer system alerts the receptionist that the patient can have a free check. Staff then conduct the check, which takes 10 minutes, she says.

If the patient has a spouse or other relative with them at the time, ie, family members, who sometimes carry similar risk factors, they could also have a free check too.

Soon, word spread among local families who are registered with East Tamaki Healthcare clinics that the free check was available and more people made the most of this opportunity, Mrs Davies says.

When health minister Tony Ryall released the results of all PHOs’ progress towards three national health targets, he congratulated general practice teams all over New Zealand.

“While there is still more work to do to achieve these important preventative health targets, significant progress has been made since this government introduced the national health targets," Mr Ryall says.

The Government target is to have 90 per cent of the eligible population's heart and diabetes risk assessed by July 2014.

More on the national health targets can be found on the Ministry of Health website.

A heart and diabetes check (or cardiovascular risk assessment) will give you information on your risk of having a heart attack or stroke. It will also determine your risk of having diabetes. The check will let you know what your risk is and suggest the best ways to improve your health.

The check includes:

· Questions about risk factors like smoking, exercise and what you eat and if there is any family history of heart attack or stroke.

· Measurement of your blood pressure, height, weight and waist.

· Testing of your blood for cholesterol (for heart health) and sugar levels (for diabetes testing).

· Education on your reducing risk.

See the East Tamaki Healthcare website to find our clinic nearest to you.

ends

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