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ProCare commitment to patient health screening

ProCare practices demonstrate to Health Minister their commitment to patient health screening

Primary Health Organisation ProCare, which has New Zealand’s largest number of Pacific and Maori patients, welcomed Health Minister Tony Ryall to their Grafton office on Friday 1st along with several practices from across the ProCare network. During the visit, ProCare CEO Steve Boomert shared with the Minister the network’s strong performance towards the National Health Targets for ProCare’s total and high needs patient populations.

Between July 2013 and June 2014, ProCare practices have screened 89,457 patients for diabetes and for their risk of cardiovascular disease (stroke and heart attack), 84,584 people have received brief advice about quitting smoking, and 2,678 eight month olds have been fully immunized during this period.

Chair of the ProCare Health Limited Board, Dr Harley Aish said: “It has been inspirational to see such commitment and creativity by ProCare practices to provide patients with support to quit smoking and increasing screening for heart disease and diabetes. The ProCare network of practices has made a huge contribution across the greater Auckland region, and very importantly, we have reached many of those with health risks within the city’s Pacific and Maori communities.”

ProCare staff shared with the Minister of Health the different support strategies they had put in place for practices, from texting programmes to provide advice about quitting smoking, to specialised ‘SWAT teams’ which helped practices with flexible support. This included provision of nurse resources and phlebotomy clinics which enabled practices to identify, contact and screen patients eligible for cardiovascular disease/diabetes assessments.

ProCare CEO Steve Boomert also highlighted how working collaboratively with organisations such as Quitline and the Heart Foundation, was key to supporting practices’ success in meeting the health targets.

“Clinical leadership and collaboration have been the two key themes for ProCare in our approach to achieving the health targets. While we have developed a range of tools and support mechanisms for practices to increase screening, checks and support, we have also leveraged the skills and services of partner organisations.”

Manurewa Medical, Health New Lynn and The Fono attended the visit with the Minister where they shared the techniques their practices/clinics had used to achieve the targets, the collaborative efforts of their practice teams, and some of the positive patient stories relating to their practices’ focus on heart disease screening and supporting patients to quit smoking.

Practice Manager at Manurewa Medical, Julie Prebble said: “CVD screening and offering support to quit smoking to patients has become common practice for our team. It’s no longer about the targets but a natural way of working and caring for patients. We now have good processes in place and this is what will enable us to sustain this level of screening and support to our patients.”

ProCare Clinical Director, Dr John Cameron said: “Now that practices have the tools and processes in place to meet the targets and provide this level of detection, we will look at how we as a PHO can support them in the management of conditions such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease.”


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