The Canterbury DHB's performance in Quarter 3 of the 2016/2017 National Health Targets show the DHB continues to strive toward keeping Cantabrians well.
Mary Gordon, Canterbury DHB acting chief executive, says the DHB has done exceptionally well considering the pressure still facing our health system.
"It's great we've exceeded the faster cancer treatment target for the second consecutive quarter. I'm really pleased that 87 percent of patients received their first cancer treatment (or other management) within 62 days of being referred with a high suspicion of cancer," Mary says.
"Our teams are continuously working to improve the capture and quality of the Faster Cancer Treatment data, and reviewing patient pathways to improve timeliness."
Everyone in the Canterbury health system has worked tirelessly to try and maintain performance on the health targets, Mary says.
"Unfortunately we just missed the ED health target this quarter with 94 percent of patients admitted, discharged or transferred from ED within 6 hours.
"The average time in ED was only two minutes longer than the previous quarter and four minutes longer than the same quarter last year."
Mary says it is only a small group who are having longer stays, which backs clinical staff reports that they are assessing and treating people with more complex needs – and this takes longer.
"Initiatives to support HealthTarget performance have included the implementation of strategies to manage demand in the community and improve flow in Emergency Department (ED) and throughout the hospital.
"The supports in place in the community, such as the Acute Demand Management Service, have meant 34,000 people in Canterbury have been provided care in the community over the past year, rather than being admitted into hospital."
Great work continues at a primary care level with immunisation rates showing strong coverage across all population groups, Mary says.
Canterbury DHB met the Health Target for most ethnicities this quarter (98 percent Asian, 96 percent Pacific and 96 percent New Zealand European) but Māori rates were down to 91 percent, which meant we just missed the target this quarter vaccinating 94.4 percent of eligible children.
"Opt-off and decline rates stayed steady this quarter at 4.2 percent of the eligible population being unreachable due to parental choice."
The focus on children remains strong with Canterbury making big improvements in the Raising Healthy Kids target – achieving 93 percent of four-year-olds identified as above the 98th centile for their BMI (height and weight measurement) who were referred for clinical assessment and healthy lifestyle intervention.
"This result demonstrates the change in process by Before School Check nurses, and understanding the importance of quickly passing on the referral to the Healthy Lifestyles Coordination Service. Our result is consistent across all ethnicities and population groups."
The Healthy Lifestyle Coordination Service includes Triple P Healthy Lifestyles Programme; a positive parenting programme and Active Families: helping our families to be more active in a meaningful way.
Making sure smokers attending primary care are offered advice to quit continued to improve in Quarter 3 to 87.1 percent – a 2.1 percent increase on the previous quarter.
Finally, Canterbury delivered 15,004 elective surgeries, 97.7 percent of the target delivery.
"There is a recovery plan in place to support reaching target by the end of the financial year," Mary Gordon said. "While there is a need for us to do better in some areas, it is encouraging to see the progress we have made across the board is sustainable.
"These results are a credit to those working hard throughout our health system," she said. "I know how much work has gone on to achieve 97.7 percent of our elective target, and I want to acknowledge and thank everyone who has gone the extra mile so more people receive the treatment and care they need," she said.
Read more about Canterbury's Health Targets.
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