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International recognition for Tauranga Hospital

International recognition for Tauranga Hospital healthcare initiative

A Tauranga Hospital healthcare initiative has been recognised for its excellence at an international conference held in Australia.

A team from the Bay of Plenty District Health Board (BOPDHB) travelled to the International Forum on Quality and Safety in Healthcare, in Melbourne, to present on its Assessment Planning Unit (APU)/Acute Flow work. The work focusses on moving patients through or out of the hospital system as quickly as possible particularly the elderly, to prevent them from deconditioning.

More than 400 posters and videos of healthcare quality improvement projects from countries such as Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Hong Kong and many more were on show and the Tauranga team emerged triumphant.

“This whole project begins and ends with the wellbeing of our patients,” said Dr Kate Grimwade. “It’s what initiated it and what has sustained all the hard work which has gone into it, and continues to go into it. This is really recognition of those efforts by everyone.”

From the posters and videos entered three were shortlisted to appear before a three-judge panel modelled on TV shows like Dragons’ Den and Shark Tank.

Dr Grimwade represented the BOPDHB against a nurse from Japan, who had developed a safety checklist for ICU nurses, and a paediatrician from Victoria, who had introduced a telehealth system into rural Gippsland. The BOPDHB’s work was chosen as the winner and five posters detailing the work were selected for display at the conference. This was not the only highlight as the team’s video also featured in the conference’s opening ceremony.

“I’m still taking it all in to be honest,” said Dr Grimwade. “I think the biggest thing for me was having our video played at the opening ceremony, so it was seen by everyone, around 1600 delegates. It’s wonderful when the work of so many people gets showcased like that. It makes you really proud.”

The innovative work centred on the speed and quality of care for older patients. A similar project is being undertaken at Whakatāne Hospital.

“Older people can decondition very quickly when they’re in hospital so we do as much as we can to prevent that,” said Dr Grimwade. “We replaced some beds in APU with ‘red chairs’ so that patients are not being put into bed needlessly; we keep people in their own clothes as much as possible which is all to do with the psychology of being a ‘patient’; we take people referred from GPs straight to APU so they don’t have to wait in ED; and we have an inter-disciplinary team which actively seek out frailer patients so a close eye is kept on them.”

BOPDHB Executive Director of Allied Health, Scientific and Technical Martin Chadwick said it was a great opportunity to demonstrate the innovation going on in the Bay of Plenty to an international audience.

“As a member of the Executive attending the conference I was incredibly proud to see everyone’s efforts recognised in this way. More importantly this was a demonstration of the continued development of better care for our patients and communities.”

The three-day conference was held between 10-12 September.

Kate Grimwade Presenting IHI Conference 2018

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