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Pink envelopes smooth transition to hospital

Pink envelopes smooth transition to hospital

23 July 2014

Transferring patient information between aged residential care providers and Palmerston North Hospital emergency services and wards has been made easier with the implementation of a bright ‘pink envelope’ service.

While, in the future, information will be prepared electronically, a current solution was needed to perform this function. The envelopes have been designed as an improvement initiative for clinical handover, and carry all of an individual patient’s documentation, so that it can easily follow them as they move around the healthcare system.

MidCentral District Health Board (MDHB) Senior Portfolio Manager, Jo Smith, recently visited with many of the district’s 36 facilities to deliver the new ‘pink envelopes’ which are being funded by Ms Smith’s team.

She said: “The best thing about this initiative is the collaboration between hospital staff and the community sector to solve an issue of how information follows a person into the system, around the system and home again while ensuring key information is included or added to, as a person’s admission and discharge takes place.”

Having a bright ‘pink envelope’ that catches the eye of all involved in a person’s care has been the initiative of a number of groups including a patient flow group at the hospital, the aged care providers themselves and the DHB. “Collaboration and working together is something we see more and more of these days as constraints on services bring us together to solve problems,” states Ms Smith.

MDHB sponsors four forums a year with the aged residential care providers as a way to engage clinicians and managers across the district to work together on sector barriers. Issues with information related to admission and discharge were considered a problem. These aged care forums are well attended and serve as case review sessions for circumstances that may not have gone well or for getting involved in areas to make things work better.

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