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Award-winning project aims to ‘stop wasting patients’ time’

‘Stop wasting our patients’ time’ is a mantra which has been adopted with award-winning commitment by staff at Tauranga Hospital.

It is well-known that elderly patients are at risk of deconditioning if they spend too long in hospital. The PARIS (Patients At Risk of Increased Stay) project was introduced to Tauranga Hospital last year to address this, focussing on patients over 75 and looking at ways their hospital journeys could be improved.

As a result, over the past 12 months, Allied Health staff and Medical Floor and APU (Admissions Planning Unit) nurses have significantly changed the way they work; promoting a collaborative, task-sharing model between the different professions. It has meant less duplication of routine tasks, fewer new faces at the bedside, and shorter waiting times for patients. In short, the same quality care delivered in less time, which is better for the patient.

The project was recognised with an Outstanding Innovation Award at the recent Allied Health Improvement Group Conference, held in Adelaide and attended by delegates from across Australia and NZ.

“It is exciting for us to be recognised by other health organisations for the work that we have undertaken to improve the experience for our elderly patients,” says Bay of Plenty District Health Board (BOPDHB) Occupational Therapy Team Leader Emma Green, who presented at the conference on behalf of the BOPDHB.

“More importantly it inspires us all to continue to look at the way we deliver person centred care to ensure all our patients receive the most timely intervention by the right person, in the right place, at the right time. We are just at the start of what will be an exciting journey for the teams at BOPDHB.

“We’re aiming to improve the inpatient journey for those over 75, who may be frail and at risk of deconditioning whilst in hospital. The team has taken on the mandate to ‘stop wasting our patients’ time’, putting them at the centre of everything they do.”

Throughout the project patients have seen shorter stays in hospital, and have experienced more timely access to Allied Health staff such as Occupational Therapy and Physiotherapy.

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