Tuesday 29 May 2012
Shorter Stays in ED the Outlier in Lakes DHB’s Strong Progress on Most Health Targets
The area of shorter stays in emergency departments is one of the Health Targets in which achievement continues to elude Lakes DHB.
The shorter stays in emergency departments has inched up one point to 89 per cent for the third quarter, which runs from January to March 2012. This means that on average, 89 per cent of people attending Rotorua Hospital’s Emergency Department are admitted, discharged or transferred within six hours of arrival.
General Manager for Clinical Services Dale Oliff says a project to lift the Health Target achievement in this area has so far met with mixed success. She says the ongoing construction in the middle of the Emergency Department can only be part of the reason for not doing better, and says efforts will be redoubled to achieve better results by the end of June. The DHB is looking forward to the visit in June from the Ministry of Health and clinical champion for this Health Target, in the hope this can provide valuable advice and support.
Lakes DHB has continued its impressive inroads on other Health Targets, particularly in the areas of better help for smokers to quit, improved access to elective surgery and increased immunisation.
The third quarter Health Targets results for 2011-12 for better help for smokers to quit show Lakes achieving 100 per cent for the fourth time in a row, meaning that 100 per cent of the number of hospitalised smokers are being provided with advice and help to quit at its two hospitals, Rotorua and Taupo.
Smokefree Team Leader at Lakes DHB, Pip King says staff continue to get positive feedback from patients who appreciate getting advice about quitting, and being referred to a provider for further support. She says the trend for the high cost of cigarettes to be a catalyst to quit continues, and will likely increase following the price rise in the Budget last week.
Lakes DHB CE Cathy Cooney says achieving 100 per cent in this target for the fourth quarter in a row shows that the systems set up at Lakes DHB around this target are sustainable, and seem to be well understood by nearly all clinical staff.
The third quarter result for improved access to elective surgery continues to be really strong, having risen to 121 per cent, up from 119 per cent last quarter. The Manager of Surgical and Elective Services Greg Vandergoot says the performance is a reflection of the continued dedication and commitment of all the staff concerned in managing the scheduling and treatment of these patients. Greg Vandergoot says the service is very proud of the result, given that staff have continued to work in the middle of a construction zone.
”This result represents the latest achievement in a sustained period of increased elective surgery for the Lakes district population, over the last few years,” he added.
Lakes DHB’s performance in the area of increased immunisation has nudged up two points to 95 percent, which is on the national target of 95 per cent, required by July 2012.
Cathy Cooney says the improvement in this area is proof of the concerted effort and commitment by all child health providers in primary care and the community across the Lakes district, for increasing immunisation levels in order to protect children.
From 1 July the immunisation health target will change to “85 per cent of 8 month olds will be up to date with their immunisations by July 2013, 90 per cent by July 2014, 95 per cent by December 2014.
The area of shorter waits for cancer treatment has remained steady with the same overall result as the last quarter of 100 per cent. This means that everyone needing radiation treatment will have this within four weeks of their first specialist assessment.
The Health Target result for more heart and diabetes checks stands at 53 per cent. This is the first time this new target is being reported, with the results being provisional, however it is pleasing to note that Lakes DHB is in the top half of DHBs. The target is that by July 2012, 60 per cent of the eligible population will have had their cardiovascular risk assessed in the last five years. Primary care health teams have considerable input into this target and their continued commitment is expected to see this increase over the coming quarters.
Lakes DHB Chair Deryck Shaw says people working in the health sector across the Lakes district are to be congratulated for their continuing work in improving health outcomes for the population. He says the Heath Targets are clearly embedded in the work of the DHB.
“Health teams across the primary and secondary services in the Lakes district continue to put in great effort to provide health services. Our Board is very proud of the Lakes achievement in the Health Targets and is very supportive of all the work that health professionals are doing,” said Deryck Shaw.