Partnerships with primary care and Thames ED lead target performances
Partnerships between immunisation providers and Waikato District Health Board helped the DHB exceed its 90 per cent immunisation health target for the first time since the targets’ introduction two years ago.
Waikato immunised 91 per cent of its children, who turned two years between January and March 2011 – one per cent ahead of the target set by the Minister of Health for all 20 DHBs.
Health target champion Pat Tuohy said it was teamwork with primary care which resulted in the DHB exceeding the target for its total population.
“The DHB makes a significant contribution to immunisation coverage through the opportunities and mobile immunisation services it provides,” said Dr Tuohy, the Chief Advisor, Child and Youth Health, at the Ministry of Health.
Waikato DHB planning and funding manager Brett Paradine said the concerted efforts by GPs, practice nurses, non Government organisations and Health Waikato staff lifted the result from 88 per cent to 91 per cent.
“Recent communications to the primary health organisations (PHOs) by Waikato DHB reminds them to maintain focus to meet the quarterly target,” he said.
In the quarter three health targets for the period between January 1 and 31 March 2011, Waikato DHB achieved the four-week shorter waits for cancer treatment health target and the improved access to elective surgery.
Health Waikato chief operating officer Jan Adams said the DHB provided elective surgery to 9214 people in quarter three, 112 more than planned.
The DHB also provided 134 elective operations for four other DHBs, including 93 for fellow Midland DHB Lakes, which helped them achieve their target.
“We have some challenges to meet in the fourth quarter but remain committed to meeting and improving wherever possible,” she said.
Target champion Clare Perry, from the Ministry of Health, said Waikato DHB’s commitment to take an additional 300 surgical discharges in quarter four, following the Christchurch earthquake, was appreciated.
Waikato fell to eighth in the better diabetes and cardiovascular services health target due to an unusually high delivery of checks reported in quarter one. However, the DHB is on target to deliver the target for the year.
Two areas where Waikato needs to improve its performance are the shorter stays in emergency departments and better help for smokers to quit.
Target champion Mike Ardagh said the one per cent increase over the previous quarter was good. “But you remain some distance from the 95 per cent target.”
Waikato and Thames hospitals are included in the target.
Thames ED held its own and this month looks set to achieve more than 95 per cent for the month.
It is that type of leadership Prof Ardagh says is critical if further progress towards the target at both Waikato and Thames comes over the next quarters.
Thames ED clinical director Dr Ruth Large said there was still a lot of work to do in Thames but everyone at the hospital recognised the target was a challenge. “We all want to be proud of the place we work in,” she said.
“We improved the awareness of the target We had the target incorporated in our shift summaries and moved it high on our priority for every shift.
“We found ways to communicate better and it has been remarkable some of the little (and not so little) things we found along the way which improved our processes. We also displayed the target widely and used posters to convey the message that everyone needs to work together,” said Dr Large.
She described it as a rewarding experience.
“We still have work to do but for me this is what the target is all about, focusing on the delivery of timely care to the patient in the right place. I love that this target is patient focused.”
Acting smoking target champion Karen Evison said Waikato’s 77 per cent was pleasing. Hospital wards now have individual action plans in place to support progress.
“A continued focus on the lower performing wards/areas should help to support ongoing progress towards the 90 per cent target.”
Local champion, Waikato DHB nursing and midwifery director Sue Hayward, said the introduction of a mandatory field in the clinical workstation would make a huge difference.
“There will be no excuses for not asking the simple question: “do you smoke?”
Waikato’s results are on www.waikatodhb.health.nz/healthtargets